Report: Nets trading first-rounder to Jazz for Royce O’Neale

Royce O'Neale and Kevin Durant in Utah Jazz v Brooklyn Nets
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Kevin Durant just requested a trade from the Nets.

Brooklyn already has a new forward – Royce O'Neale from the Jazz.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

The Nets must choose a direction with Durant asking out. Trading a first-round pick for a 29-year-old O’Neale is a curious choice.

Remember all the discussion about Utah’s weak perimeter defense in front of Rudy Gobert? That wasn’t just about Donovan Mitchell. A supposed defensive specialist, O’Neale took a big step back last season, though at least continued to shoot well on 3-pointers.

The Jazz might have been pleased to unload his $9.2 million salary for next year and $2.5 million guarantee (of $9.5 million) for the following year. A first-rounder is even better.

Juancho Hernangomez‘s $7,307,130 salary for next season was unguaranteed.

These cost-trimming moves position Utah to use the non-taxpayer mid-level exception this summer. That should draw a player better than O’Neale and Hernangomez.