The trajectory of the entire NBA — very much including the Los Angeles Lakers — was profoundly altered the moment Kevin Durant requested a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. Even though a Durant-for-Anthony Davis swap is reportedly not on the table, the superstar’s impending departure instantly placed a Kyrie Irving-for-Russell Westbrook blockbuster very much back on the table.

Here are three reasons why.


3) KD is heading out

The fact that ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski acknowledged that Durant and Irving are still open to hooping together implies that their relationship remains tenable. Had Durant stayed committed to building a winner in Brooklyn, Irving may too have re-invested, at least for the final season of his contract.

Now, Irving has no incentive to stick around Brooklyn (apologies to Ben Simmons). Any antsiness for a change of scenery he may have already been experiencing will only be heightened with KD out the door. Based on reports about Nets owner Joseph Tsai, the feelings may be mutual.


2) The asking price is lowered

Once the Nets figure out a Durant deal, their price tag for Kyrie dramatically drops. The Lakers will have the opportunity to buy the dip.