NBA Rumors: LA Clippers, Nets Could Explore 'Superstar-For-Superstar Trade' Involving Paul George & Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant playing for the Thunder
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JB Baruelo

Brooklyn Nets small forward Kevin Durant is currently one of the most talked-about players on the rumor mill. Durant may not have shown any sign that he's no longer happy with the Nets but if they fail to convince Kyrie Irving to stay in the 2022 NBA free agency, he's highly expected to find his way out of Brooklyn this summer.

While Irving and the Nets are still negotiating regarding a new contract, Durant has already started to be linked to some aspiring contenders that could pursue him on the trade market.

Kevin Durant To LA Clippers

Kevin Durant playing for Team USA
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One of the teams that could express interest in acquiring Durant from the Nets is the Los Angeles Clippers. In a recent article, Liam McKeone of The Big Lead included the Clippers on his list of four potential trade destinations for Durant this summer. According to McKeone, the Clippers could engage in a "superstar-for-superstar trade" that would send Paul George to the Nets in exchange for Durant.

"What if the Clippers offered up Paul George for Durant? Their salaries are very close ($39 million for PG, $42 million for KD) so the money wouldn't be a problem. The Clippers have a handful of intriguing young players they could include in the Terrance Mann/BJ Boston/Isaiah Hartenstein vein."

Will Kawhi Leonard Authorize The Trade?

Kawhi Leonard taking a free throw
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Though he and George have grown closer in Los Angeles, it's not hard to see Leonard giving his approval on the proposed superstar-for-superstar trade. It's worth noting that before Leonard recruited George in the summer of 2019, he first tried to convince Durant to join forces with him in Los Angeles.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Leonard had always admired Durant and had tremendous respect for him as a competitor. During his recruitment of KD, Leonard reportedly told him that they'd be great complements to each other on the court.

A High-Risk, High-Reward Move For Clippers

Kevin Durant going back to defense
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With their injury history, pairing Leonard and Durant would be a huge gamble for the Clippers. However, if both superstars can remain healthy throughout the 2022-23 NBA season, it would undoubtedly give them a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the 2023 NBA championship title.

Leonard and Durant are among the few superstars who are viewed on the same level as Los Angeles Lakers small forward LeBron James. Having Leonard and Durant on their roster would make Clippers unstoppable on both ends of the floor next season.

Why The Nets Would Make The Trade

Paul George finding his way into the basket
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Swapping Durant for a trade package centered on George would make sense for the Nets if they decide to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference next season.

George may not make them an instant title contender, but adding him to the core of Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Joe Harris, and Andre Drummond would help the Nets extend their playoff streak. Though he's not as good and consistent as a healthy Durant, George is still a prolific scorer, rebounder, on-court facilitator, defender, and floor spacer.

Last season, the 32-year-old small forward averaged 24.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 2.2 steals while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 35.4 percent from beyond the arc.