Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured Columnist IVJuly 22, 2022
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    The NBA draft is done. The free-for-all of the first few days is over. The Las Vegas Summer League is over, but there are still some fireworks ready to go.

    Kevin Durant is still a member of the Brooklyn Nets despite requesting to be traded. There hasn't been a potential swap for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Utah Jazz are interested in trading Mitchell.

    It's possible that nothing happens with those players before the season starts, but it seems like at least one or two will fall. Imagine if they all fell at the same time.

    Russ was involved in a five team trade that sent him to L.A.

    There's a chance of a five-teamer that would make each organization happy and include him, KD, Kyrie and Mitchell.

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    You can negotiate with me about the specifics, how many draft picks are involved, where those picks should go and what kind of protections they would carry, but this general framework accomplishes some goals for everyone involved.

    A more detailed breakdown of what this would mean for each team follows, but let's just take a quick look at the deal to begin with.

    • Los Angeles Lakers Receive: Kyrie Irving, Patrick Beverley* and Dario Saric
    • Brooklyn Nets Receive: Mikal Bridges, Talen Horton-Tucker, Cameron Payne, a 2025 first-round pick from Phoenix, a 2027 first-round pick from Phoenix, a 2027 first-round pick from Los Angeles, a 2029 first-round pick from Phoenix and a 2029 first-round pick from New York
    • Utah Jazz Receive: Russell Westbrook, Quentin Grimes, Cam Reddish, Evan Fournier, Jae Crowder, Landry Shamet, a 2023 first-round pick from New York, a 2023 first-round pick from Phoenix, a 2025 first-round pick from New York, a 2027 first-round pick from New York and a 2029 first-round pick from Los Angeles
    • Phoenix Suns Receive: Kevin Durant and Bojan Bogdanovic
    • New York Knicks Receive: Donovan Mitchell and Cam Thomas

    It's possible to see the trade in table format here, but that doesn't justify this giant. As you scroll through, you will see that.

    Patrick Beverley can't be aggregated with other players in a trade because he's already been traded. August 30, 2022, is the last day of the restriction. We will have to be patient if we are going to see a monster deal.

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    The Lakers have received: Patrick Beverley.

    The Lakers lost with a 2027 first-round pick and a 2029 first-round pick.

    At the moment, the Lakers appear unwilling to surrender multiple first-round picks to unload Westbrook, but if the return also includes another role player and a player who missed all of the season due to injury, the decision should be reconsidered.

    It's not likely that Kyrie's fit in L.A. requires a lot of analysis. The two of them won a title together. The biggest difference between them is that he can shoot. He's almost four years older than the man. It feels like a no-brainer to replace Russ with Kyrie.

    This idea is particularly interesting because of the other two additions.

    He's shown an ability to defend wings, even though he's not a point guard. He doesn't ask for a lot of use on the other side. He's a three-and-D guard, something that has proved effective in the past with his friend and teammate, James. Even if they don't start together, he can play with Kyrie.

    L.A.'s bench may be less predictable because of the small-ball 5 with a 35.7 career three-point percentage and flashes of playmaking that he has.

    It's almost certainly worth it to end the Westbrook experiment, add one of the game's best offensive talents and supplement the rotation with two role players by giving up two first-round picks.

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    A first-round pick from Phoenix, a first-round pick from Los Angeles, a first-round pick from Phoenix, and a first-round pick from Phoenix in 2029 are included in the package.

    Nets lose to Kevin Durant and others.

    Brooklyn is likely to hold out for more. It's starting to feel like a possibility with KD and Kyrie.

    Even without Deandre Ayton, this would be a great start to a rebuild.

    The Nets might have to consider more than age, injury history, and trade value when they're trying to make a deal, as well as the fact that other teams are putting the screws to them in negotiations.

    If the stars really are determined to move on, five first-round picks, an interesting young talent, and a borderline All-Star nearing his prime.

    There is a chance that another team will call with a pick or two for Bridges. It wouldn't have to be the end of the deconstruction.

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    The Jazz received a first-round pick from New York, a first-round pick from Phoenix, and a first-round pick from the New York Knicks in the 20th century.

    The Jazz lost: Bojan and Patrick.

    According to a statement from his former agent, there are possible outcomes for the player. It would definitely be one.

    The Utah Jazz dealt three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to Minnesota for a package of picks. The Jazz will be in the running for the top odds in the lottery if Mitchell goes.

    Russ would not want to be in that situation.

    Utah would be left with a rebuild on par with recent rebuilds like Oklahoma City and New Orleans. The package includes the four first-round picks the Jazz received in the Gobert trade, as well as five more, two of which are intriguing wings.

    The league's trade rules require Evan Fournier and Landry Shamet to be included. Neither is on a long term contract.

    The Jazz don't have as many picks as they are rumored to be after for Mitchell, but seven seems like a pipe dream. He's an exciting scorer, but he hasn't finished in the top 20 in box plus/minus in his career, and he's looked terrible on defense for the last two years.

    Walker Kessler, Grimes, Reddish and a better shot at the No. 1 overall pick in 2023 are emerging from the previous era.

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    The Suns receive: Bojan and Kevin.

    The Suns have a first-round pick in each of the next three years and a second-round pick in 2029.

    The Suns would get two starters, three potential role players and four first-round picks in the deal.

    The ceiling of this group is clearly championship-caliber despite the health of KD and the lack of depth around him.

    It is now or never for a move like this with Paul entering his 37th year.

    The best-case scenario is that everyone stays healthy and Phoenix wins the title.

    The worst-case scenario is that the Suns flame out and the team still has Booker and Ayton.

    When Ayton and Booker were on the floor, Phoenix was plus- 6 points per 100 possessions.

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    The Knicks received: Mitchell and Thomas.

    The Knicks have a first-round pick in each of the next two years and a 2029 first-round pick.

    This is a steep price for Mitchell even if it isn't what Danny Ainge wants. Some Knicks fans will think it's too much, but Mitchell is a New York-raised star who could make a difference in Madison Square Garden.

    He's seventh in NBA history in playoff points per game, he has high-flying athletic ability, and he carries himself with a charisma that surpasses his small market.

    Mitchell could become a megastar under the bright lights of the Madison Square Garden. There are a lot of supporting players that he will need to reach that level.

    A starting backcourt with Mitchell and Brunson has the same flaw as the one he would leave behind in Utah with Mike Conley, but both play bigger than their 6'1" frames. If Julius Randle suddenly becomes a third or fourth option, it could be less of a problem. The center duo of Robinson and Hartenstein add youth and flexibility to the front court.

    It might not take the Knicks to a title contention immediately, but it would make them better and more attractive to free agents down the line.

    Finally, you will see that this framework also has a person headed to the Knicks. That may be the strangest thing about the deal.

    Brooklyn is getting one of New York's picks because it's not getting as many picks as Utah. Something should be given up by the Nets for that pick.

    There could be something to the Thomas-for-a-2029-pick stand alone trade.

    This is about Mitchell more than anything else. Getting a flyer on Thomas helps replace a bit of the young talent going out, but he's not the main attraction. He shouldn't be a deal-breaker for a lot of the picks and less famous players.

    There is wiggle room for each team. Each squad was capable of talking itself into this trade.