Mar 21, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) controls the ball against Utah Jazz forward Royce O’Neale (23) during the first quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Big things are happening in the NBA for the Brooklyn Nets. Along with all the news surrounding their superstars, they made a major move on Thursday by trading a 2023 first-round draft pick for Utah Jazz small forward Royce O’Neale.

The Nets will be sending one of their first-round draft choices in 2023 that they received from their Houston and Philadelphia trades. The less valuable pick will be the one that Utah receives.

This move comes among reports that Kevin Durant wants out of Brooklyn. Perhaps this was the Nets striking ahead of what may occur to save their roster.

Brooklyn will use the $11.3 million trade exception from the James Harden trade to make this happen. O’Neale has $9.2 million and $9.5 million remaining on the two years left on his contract.

O’Neale is coming off his fifth season in the NBA, scoring a career-high 7.4 points per game in 77 appearances this year.

There have been rumors for weeks that it was Kyrie Irving, not Durant, who was ready to leave Brooklyn for greener pastures. Durant wanting a trade is a shock to many and opens the door to the possibility of  Irving still being traded to another team.

Things can change quickly in the NBA. This move may be just a way to show Durant they are serious about winning a championship now and are willing to trade their future to get there. Or maybe it’s the Nets preparing their fans for the worst-case scenario.


About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.