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Greedy NBA Teams Have Stalled Trade Talks Involving Big-Name Players

The massive haul the Utah Jazz received for Rudy Gobert has sent shockwaves throughout the NBA

The NBA is deep into its offseason, with about two months left before teams begin their respective training camps and start playing preseason games. Despite being this far into the dog days of summer, the rumors continue to swirl about some big-name players potentially being traded elsewhere before regular-season games get underway in October.

A few big deals have already happened this summer, with notable names like Rudy Gobert, Jerami Grant and Malcolm Brogdon on the move. However, Gobert being traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves was undoubtedly the most significant deal that went down, with the Utah Jazz getting a massive haul in return for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

I firmly believe that the Gobert trade is why trade talks involving All-Star-caliber players have stalled around the league. Four big-name players, in particular, are currently on the trading block, with no telling if they'll get moved. Either the price tag is too high, or teams are unwilling to take on players that might do more harm than good.

Kevin Durant

Without a doubt, the biggest fish left on the trade market is Durant. The two-time NBA champion has reportedly told the Brooklyn Nets he wants out, and even though most teams in the league have called, the asking price for the soon-to-be 34-year-old has been too high, which can be directly attributed to the Jazz getting four first-round picks for Gobert.

Originally, Durant wanted to go to the Phoenix Suns or Miami Heat. The Suns seemed like a viable option, with the team ready to part ways with Deandre Ayton. Phoenix would immediately be the team to beat in the NBA if that deal went down, but after Ayton signed an extension, Durant's hopes of landing in Phoenix died.

As for Miami, there's no doubt Pat Riley would love to get Durant to South Beach. But unfortunately, the presence of Bam Adebayo makes that problematic. Due to the Designated Rookie rule, adding him in a deal, which the Nets would almost certainly want in return, is impossible due to Ben Simmons currently being on Brooklyn's roster.

It may be difficult for the Nets and Heat to make a deal, but surely not impossible as Riley and company could get creative. Also, it's not like Brooklyn must make a deal with Phoenix or Miami. Durant doesn't have a no-trade clause, which could make things interesting in the next two months.

Kyrie Irving

At one point in time, every team in the NBA would've been working the phones to trade for Irving. He was widely considered an elite point guard in this league, but after a failed stint with the Boston Celtics and a rocky few years with the Nets, things have changed dramatically for the one-time champion.

However, the Los Angeles Lakers would make a move if they could get him without giving up two first-round picks, which the team currently covets. This goes back to the Gobert trade, creating chaos among teams.

Right now, all signs seem to point to Irving staying in Brooklyn. There have been conflicting reports that he wants to stay and others that he wants to go to Los Angeles, but it's not up to him now after he opted into the last year of his deal with the Nets.

The consensus seems to be that Irving won't be moved until Durant is traded or rescinds his trade request. There's no telling when the dust will settle in Brooklyn.

Donovan Mitchell

After Gobert was shipped to Minnesota, the Jazz seemed intent on keeping Mitchell in Utah. However, things have changed drastically as he's been linked to the New York Knicks, his hometown team.

The problem is the Jazz want to fleece the Knicks for all they've got to give for their superstar guard. Utah knows New York is desperate for a star of Mitchell's caliber and will try to take advantage of that. The Jazz is said to be asking for five or six first-round picks for Mitchell.

The latest rumor about these ongoing trade talks is a three-way deal between the Knicks, Lakers and Jazz.

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, this is what the three-team deal would look like, with some notable players potentially on the move.

The proposed three-team trade scenario included Westbrook going to Utah and getting bought out. Utah would send Donovan Mitchell to the Knicks, a combination of two players, including Patrick Beverley and Jordan Clarkson, Bojan Bogdanovic or Malik Beasley to the Lakers, and the Jazz would receive significant draft pick compensation from the Knicks and Lakers. The Knicks also would’ve had to part with veteran salary filler(s), such as Derrick Rose to help make the salaries work.

Although it appears complicated with many moving parts, Mitchell seems like the most likely player of the four mentioned in this piece to be moved first or even at all. The Knicks need a star, and he fits the bill.

Russell Westbrook

The Lakers are in trouble. The championship window for LeBron James and Anthony Davis is closing in Los Angeles, and things have gotten that much worse with Westbrook becoming a serious problem.

Despite making zero sense basketball-wise, the Lakers pulled the trigger on a Westbrook trade that reshaped the roster, and the move ultimately proved disastrous. Not only was Westbrook reluctant to change his game, but he was exposed for not being a team player while being a superstar on the decline.

Now, the Lakers are desperate to move him, and every team in the league knows it. Many believed a deal with the Nets for Irving could get done, but now that doesn't seem as likely. The Indiana Pacers also emerged as a potential trade partner, with Myles Turner and Buddy Hield coming to L.A. in return, but the struggling franchise wanted the team's two first-round picks (2027, 2029) to get it done.

With the relationship between James and Westbrook seemingly strained, the Lakers will want to move Westbrook sooner rather than later. The storied franchise has to come to grips with giving up those two first-round picks, or it could be another long season for the Purple and Gold.