August 20, 2022

0 of 3

    Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

    The NBA offseason continues to unfold, and it’s been a whirlwind so far. The action began with the news that Kevin Durant had requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets and did not calm down.

    While Brooklyn has yet to find a new home for Durant, the Nets have acquired Royce O’Neale from the Utah Jazz. Utah didn’t stop there either and sent the remarkable Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a separate trade.

    The O’Neale and Gobert trades were two big dominoes in the beginning, they won’t be the last to fall. Utah is likely to make more moves, Durant’s request clouds Kyrie Irving’s future in Brooklyn, and the trade market remains wide open for most teams in the league.

    What’s the latest buzz as the NBA wraps up its first free agency weekend? We’ll take a look.

1 of 3

    Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

    With O’Neale and Gobert in Utah, it’s fair to wonder how the impending rebuild will impact star goaltender Donovan Mitchell. There have been conflicting reports.

    According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (h/t SNY’s Ian Begley)Utah intends to revamp the roster around star goaltender Donovan Mitchell rather than completely tearing down and rebuilding the roster.

    ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, however, reported that teams believe Mitchell can be found in a trade.

    “Speaking to league executives who have seen some of this happen, they think it would be abnormal if Donovan didn’t want to come out at this point,” Windhorst said on NBA today (h/t Let’s talk NBA).

    Windhorst also reported that some teams are preparing to make a run on Mitchell if he can indeed be had.

    “Right now there are teams looking at the possibility of calling Utah and seeing what it takes to get Donovan Mitchell, because it’s not going to happen,” he said.

    Ringer’s Logan Murdock got even more specific, hinting that Mitchell may already be considering a move to the Miami Heat.

    “But everything suggests the writing is on the wall for Donovan Mitchell to go,” Murdock said on the Ringer Podcast (h/t Heavy’s Thomas Darro). “…I don’t know if the bags are done, but we (Mitchell) are looking for places in some beachfront homes somewhere in Florida.”

    According to Wojnarowski, the Heat are among Durant’s favorite destinations. If he and Mitchell are interested in joining Miami, then the Heat may well end up with a new star this offseason.

2 out of 3

    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    As Durant leaves Brooklyn, Irving’s future is entirely uncertain. The 30-year-old opted for the 2022-23 season but did so to ‘fulfill his four-year commitment’ to the Nets and Durant, according to Shams Charania athletics and stadium.

    The Los Angeles Lakers, it seems, are now trying to reunite Irving with LeBron James in Los Angeles. The Lakers may well be able to offload Russell Westbrook’s contract in the process.

    “The Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets are actively engaged in discussions about a trade package that would send star point guard Russell Westbrook to Brooklyn in exchange for star point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources told Yahoo Sports,” writes Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

    There are obstacles to an Irving-Westbrook trade, of course. Haynes noted that the compensation plan is an “ongoing talking point” and that Brooklyn wants to offload Joe Harris as part of the deal.

    As Windhorst pointed out on First take (from 4:30 a.m.) On Friday, the Nets will use Irving to do what’s best for the franchise. This may mean trading him to a team other than Los Angeles.

    According Charania, multiple teams are “committed” to trying to get Irving. So while an Irving-Westbrook trade seems as likely as it ever has in 2022, it’s still far from over.

3 out of 3

    Mary Kate Ridgway/NBAE via Getty Images

    Regardless of Mitchell’s future, Utah must rebuild its roster following the O’Neale and Gobert trades. According Marc J. Spears ESPN’s Tacko Fall could become Utah’s new center.

    “With Rudy Gobert gone Jazz checks out another giant in free agent center 7-6 Tacko Fall,” Spears tweeted. “Fall plays on Utah’s summer league team and is linked to Danny Ainge dating back to his time with the Celtics.”

    Fall, 26, first joined the NBA as an undrafted free agent in 2019. As Spears noted, he began his career with the Boston Celtics, when Ainge was president of basketball operations. ball.

    Now Jazz CEO, Ainge appears to be aiming for a familiar face to help replenish the roster. Or, at least, Ainge is ready to give Fall a chance.

    The UCF product had limited exposure in the NBA and spent most of his playing time in the G-League. Since signing in 2019, Fall has played just 37 games with the Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers and has averaged just over six minutes per game.

    Autumn will not replace Gobert’s production. However, he has an intriguing combination of size and skill and should do an intriguing draft in Utah.