NBA rumors: KD unhappy in Phoenix, Austin Reaves trade price, Zach Edey lottery pick

  • NBA execs grade Zach Edey as a lottery pick
  • Lakers would part with Austin Reaves for a "bona fide All-Star"
  • Kevin Durant is "never happy" in Phoenix, per Stephen A. Smith
Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns
Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns / Harry How/GettyImages

The first round of the NBA Playoffs was a mixed bag in terms of quality, but the second round has more than made up for it. Three of the four series are tied 2-2, and it's unclear which direction the results might skew (I'm officially submitting OKC, Denver, Indiana, Boston as my real-time predictions).

For the 22 teams not currently involved in the playoffs, however, it's time to focus on the future. There's a lot of mirror-gazing and introspection going on around the league. The Atlanta Hawks miraculously won the No. 1 pick in the weakest NBA Draft since 2013, adding another layer of chaos and uncertainty to a summer brimming with possibilities.

We don't have to search far for juicy NBA rumors these days. Here is the latest buzz from around the association.

NBA rumors: League execs rate Zach Edey as lottery pick

Zach Edey performed well at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago on Monday, measuring roughly 7-foot-4 without shoes. Factor in his 7-foot-11 wingspan, 299-pound frame, and 9-foot-7 standing reach, it's hard to overlook Edey based on sheer physical gifts alone. He even performed well in the lane agility test and knocked down 14-of-25 shots in the 3-point star shooting drill.

After a dominant NCAA Tournament run to cap off back-to-back National Player of the Year campaigns, Edey is officially plastered on the NBA Draft radar. In fact, several league executives grade him as a lottery pick, with some placing him in the top 10 due to his strong rating in analytics models, per ESPN's Jonathan Givony.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to not hop on the Edey bandwagon. He silenced a lot of doubters with Purdue's deep March Madness run. Edey is going to protect the rim at a high level by virtue of his size and instincts. Meanwhile, there is undeniable value in his ability to exploit mismatches and score with touch in the paint. Edey is more than a jump-and-dunk threat. He can pass out of the post, hit floaters and in-between shots, and warp defenses by forcing double teams on the block.

A lot of jokes have been made at Edey's expense over the years, but the dude is about to get drafted very high in a weak class. There is a perfect confluence of circumstances to land Edey in the lottery, and perhaps even high in the lottery. He offers several outlier traits in a draft short on obvious, standout talent.

NBA rumors: Lakers would trade Austin Reaves for 'bona fide All-Star'

The Los Angeles Lakers face a pivotal offseason after being knocked out of the first round by the Denver Nuggets. LeBron James is officially a free agent, and while his return appears inevitable, he will surely look to apply pressure to the Lakers' front office. Rob Pelinka has struggled to build out the roster around James and Anthony Davis in recent years, and the clock is ticking on LeBron's career.

After going through the trade deadline without a move and suffering the consequences, all signs point to the Lakers wheeling and dealing this offseason. All-Star guards, such as Donovan Mitchell and Trae Young, are high on the Lakers' wishlist. Landing such a player comes at a steep price, however, and Los Angeles' summer plans could require them to part with a cult favorite.

According to Lakers insider Jovan Buha, the Lakers would trade Austin Reaves "for a bona fide All-Star."

"I've heard the Lakers do not want to trade Austin Reaves. They love Austin Reaves. But, if there was a scenario in which they would consider trading him, it would have to be for a bona fide All-Star... [Reaves is] going to be the player that every franchise asks for." (via Buha's Block, h/t Bleacher Report)

Los Angeles inked Reaves to a four-year, $53.8 million contract last offseason. There was interest around the league — most notably from the San Antonio Spurs — but ultimately, Los Angeles retained Reaves for an exceedingly reasonable price. The team-friendly nature of that contract only adds to Reaves' value to the Lakers' franchise. Don't expect him to change teams unless it is absolutely necessary to land a needle-moving star.

That said, we know the Lakers are hunting big game this summer. As much as Reaves has done for L.A. since his arrival as an undrafted free agent in 2022, his place on the roster next season is far from guaranteed.

NBA rumors: Kevin Durant was 'nevey happy' with Suns

The Phoenix Suns' season ended with a dull thud, getting swept out of the first round by the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves. It's unclear what the future holds for Phoenix. Kevin Durant and Devin Booker are both exceptional talents, but the Suns lack the depth to contend and there's no financial flexibility to meaningfully improve the roster under the new CBA. Grayson Allen, Jusuf Nurkic, and two first-round picks is about all Phoenix has to bargain with.

Some would argue that it's time to rebuild, but the Suns don't control their own draft picks after the Durant trade. To really drive home the complicated nature of the Suns' current outlook, however, it's clear Durant is not pleased with the situation. He allegedly told Chad Ochocino that he would welcome a move to the Miami Heat. That could be construed as a weird bit of offseason white noise, but the rumblings of Durant's discontentment continue to grow louder.

In a recent appearance on ESPN's First Take, Stephen A. Smith dropped a bombshell report about Durant's attitude in Phoenix this season.

"Kevin Durant in Phoenix is a problem. It is a problem. We don't see it because the stats are there... but they say Kevin Durant is never happy. They say he went more than a month without even talking to the head coach. They say that he doesn't look happy there."

Smith went on to argue that Phoenix should "disband" their star trio and hit the reset button. It's hard to argue with the logic, especially if Durant is so viscerally displeased with his situation. It's one thing for a head coach's message to get stale, but for Durant to allegedly ignore Frank Vogel for an entire month — one of the more accomplished and respected coaches in recent NBA history — is a bad look.

Durant has developed a habit of being unhappy. He was publicly angsty in his final years with Brooklyn. He never got over the perception of his tenure in Golden State, and he left the only fanbase that flat-out adored him in OKC. At some point, the appeal of Durant as a player is diminished by his unwillingness to embrace challenges. The NBA is a difficult league; KD can't become a malcontent at the first sign of trouble in every new city.

Maybe we shouldn't put too much stock into Stephen A. Smith quotes on First Take, but he's a plugged-in reporter who knows his way around NBA circles. This report certainly doesn't sound out of character for Durant, which is the most alarming takeaway.

Hawks claim No. 1 pick, Lakers swing big. dark. Post-Lottery Mock Draft. Hawks claim No. 1 pick, Lakers swing big