The Brooklyn Nets are in a tough spot as they look to figure out what to do with their star duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. They know Durant wants out and that Irving was looking for a sign-and-trade before he didn’t have many options other than opting in to stay with Brooklyn.
Therefore, the Nets have to decide to just make a trade for both players so both sides can move on or they keep the stars and try to play nice until the best offer for both materializes.
After all, Nets legend Richard Jefferson suggested that Durant stay with Brooklyn and try to work it out just as Kobe Bryant once did with the Los Angeles Lakers.
With that being said, it’s always fun to see some mock trades and see what the Nets can get for Durant. The latest fake trade comes from Bleacher Report and it sends the 2-time Finals MVP to the Denver Nuggets in a 3-team trade that includes the Houston Rockets.
The fake trade proposal
Denver Nuggets Receive: Kevin Durant, Eric Gordon
Brooklyn Nets Receive: Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, three first-round picks (2023 via MIL, their own 2024 back from HOU, 2029 via DEN)
Houston Rockets Receive: Ben Simmons, Zeke Nnaji
B/R on why the Nets do this deal
Getting Durant to the Nuggets is tricky because sending Micheal Porter Jr. back to Brooklyn means Simmons has to go elsewhere. Teams aren’t allowed to have more than one player acquired via trade on a Designated Rookie extension, status Simmons and MPJ share. Fortunately, the Rockets step in to facilitate a deal here, getting Simmons for their trouble.
In Porter Jr. and Gordon, the Nets get a ready-made combo forward tandem with complementary strengths. MPJ is the pure scorer, while Gordon guards multiple positions and generally fills in the gaps. Health is a concern for Porter, who missed most of last year due to back surgery, but the three first-rounders coming Brooklyn’s way help preserve flexibility if he’s not the same player post-injury.
Analyzing the deal from a Nets standpoint
The Nets could do worse than Michael Porter Jr. and Aaron Gordon in this situation as far as players are concerned, but they would need way more draft picks from the Nuggets if they were to acquire Durant. Especially, when one considers the draft capital the Minnesota Timberwolves gave up to the Utah Jazz to get Rudy Gobert.
This is why the Nets should probably just wait this out and see if they can make it work with Durant. There is no reason to rush into any trades just to get move on. If Brooklyn can bring him back and the two sides can play nice, then maybe Irving is around, and the Nets can get off to a good start. From that point on, either Durant maybe has a change of heart to stay in Brooklyn or the Nets find the trade package they desire.
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