NBA Trade Rumors: Utah Jazz Deal Royce O’Neal to Brooklyn Nets in Exchange for a Promising First Round Pick

Brooklyn Nets Acquire Royce O’Neal from Utah Jazz

The Brooklyn Nets have made a significant trade with the Utah Jazz, acquiring power forward Royce O’Neal. This move is seen as a potential replacement for All-Star Kevin Durant, who recently requested a trade from the Nets. In exchange for O’Neal, the Nets will send a 2023 first-round draft pick to the Jazz.

O’Neal’s Impact with the Jazz

Royce O’Neal had an impressive stint with the Utah Jazz, showcasing his skills as a versatile player. Last season, he averaged 7.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals in 77 games. O’Neal’s journey to the NBA was rather unconventional, as he went undrafted out of Baylor and played in Europe before getting his break with the Jazz.

After spending his first two seasons on the bench, O’Neal emerged as a starter for the Jazz in the 2019-20 season. He proved to be a valuable defender and occasional 3-point shooter, with a career average of 38.1% from downtown. However, his defensive performance in the postseason dipped, and his shooting from beyond the arc also suffered.

Jazz’s Strategy and Recent Moves

The Utah Jazz’s decision to trade O’Neal is part of their effort to trim their payroll and create flexibility to attract a veteran player through a mid-level exception. To reduce salary, the Jazz recently waived Juancho Hernangomez, who was set to earn $7.3 million next season. Hernangomez is best known for his role in the basketball movie “Hustle” alongside Adam Sandler.

In addition to these financial maneuvers, the Jazz made several notable changes to their coaching staff. They appointed Will Hardy as their new head coach, filling the void left by Quin Snyder’s retirement. David Fizdale, who previously served as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, has been brought in as an assistant general manager. Fizdale’s experience extends to head coaching roles with the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Knicks.

Potential Trade Involving Rudy Gobert

The Jazz’s decision to put three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert on the trading block is an attempt to address internal tensions and retain All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. Gobert’s defensive prowess earned him accolades in 2018, 2019, and 2021. However, conflicts between Gobert and Mitchell have surfaced, leading to speculation about Mitchell’s potential desire to be traded to the New York Knicks. The Knicks, in turn, have been actively acquiring draft picks in hopes of enticing the Jazz in a potential trade for Mitchell.


The Brooklyn Nets’ acquisition of Royce O’Neal from the Utah Jazz signifies their determination to navigate the evolving landscape of the NBA. O’Neal’s skills as a versatile player make him a valuable addition to the Nets’ roster. Meanwhile, the Jazz’s strategic moves, including shedding payroll and exploring trade options involving Gobert, aim to address internal dynamics and build a strong future for the team.


1. How will Royce O’Neal contribute to the Brooklyn Nets?

Royce O’Neal’s versatility as a player and his ability to contribute on both ends of the court will be key for the Brooklyn Nets. His defensive skills and occasional 3-point shooting will provide valuable support to the team’s star players.

2. What led to Kevin Durant’s trade request from the Nets?

The specific reasons behind Kevin Durant’s trade request from the Brooklyn Nets are unclear at this time. However, it is speculated that Durant may be seeking a new environment or a different team dynamic.

3. What impact could a trade involving Rudy Gobert have for the Utah Jazz?

A trade involving Rudy Gobert could have significant implications for the Utah Jazz. It may allow them to address tensions within the team and retain Donovan Mitchell, a key player who has been linked to trade rumors.

4. How does Juancho Hernangomez’s release impact the Utah Jazz?

By waiving Juancho Hernangomez, the Utah Jazz aimed to reduce their payroll and create more financial flexibility. This move opens up possibilities for the team to potentially sign a valuable veteran player through a mid-level exception.

5. What are the expectations for the Brooklyn Nets and the Utah Jazz in the upcoming season?

Both the Brooklyn Nets and the Utah Jazz have +5000 odds to win the 2023 NBA championship next season. These teams will be looking to build competitive rosters and contend for the title in a highly competitive league.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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