The Brooklyn Nets had a turbulent season and they will have a turbulent summer. Nothing is known about their roster yet, as contract negotiations with Kyrie Irving have hit a significant snag. Of course, his future is heavily linked to Kevin Durant's, so if he is gone, Durant could be on his way out as well. Thus, this summer will be very important for the direction of the Nets.
A lot of things can happen, but what is almost guaranteed are trades. Some of them could be completely logical, but some could look odd on the surface. In that vein, here are two unrealistic trades the Nets must try to make in the 2022 NBA offseason.
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Unrealistic Nets Trades In 2022 NBA Offseason
Nets get Evan Mobley, Kevin Love; Cavs get Kevin Durant
If we accept the fact that Irving is likely leaving, that could mean that Durant will be gone as well. If he is to leave the Nets, subject to Irving leaving, the Nets would not be able to expect much. Durant is kind of forcing their hand there, so a lot of teams would low-ball them. They could possibly look for picks, but as Durant is 33 and has a ton of money linked to him, many teams will be hesitant to really break the bank. However, the Cavs might be an option, as they could look at Durant as the missing piece for playoff success.
Here is why the trade makes sense for all sides involved.
The Nets, plain and simple, get a great young asset and financial relief. If the Durant situation is as it is reported, then getting this kind of package is really a premium for the Nets. Mobley likely should have won Rookie of the Year and has clear All-Star potential. He could be the centerpiece of Brooklyn's rebuild and possibly even keep the Nets a playoff team if Ben Simmons can get and stay healthy. Love is there to match contracts, but he can be an asset off the bench and has just a year left on his deal, so the Nets could retain some financial flexibility. Overall, this deal is not optimal for Brooklyn since it involves moving Durant, but it would make the best out of a bad situation.
For the Cavs, they might look at the current Nets star and as the final piece for their ascension to contender status. It would cost the Cavs Mobley, which is not ideal, but for Kevin Durant, the price is really not important. Durant is still a transformational player, capable of making any franchise amazing. He does have some baggage, like injury issues, but once again, it is Kevin Durant. He is a former MVP, former Finals MVP, and just averaged a lick under 30 points per game, playing for a dysfunctional Nets team.
Even with Mobley involved, this is a no-brainer for the Cavs.
Nets get Jaylen Brown, Daniel Theis; Celtics get Kevin Durant
Yet another Durant trade, this time with the Boston Celtics.
The 2022 NBA Finals runners-up are likely happy with their squad, but if you have a chance of getting Durant on your squad, you do not miss out. Durant would likely also be interested in joining the Celtics, as it would be a chance for him to contend for another NBA championship before his career is over.
With all of that said, let's look at all the factors for both sides and why this trade would be beneficial for the Nets and the Celtics.
From the Nets' side, it is an easy deal. As explained above, getting a deal that represents the true value of Durant is impossible. He is an all-timer still near his peak, but Brooklyn would be operating from a significant position of weakness in Durant trade talks. In this deal, the Nets would get a player who is a proven second option and could be a good first option. Additionally, with Simmons set to return, Brown would be the recipient of his passes and could unlock new parts of his game. Theis is a throw-in to match salaries but with a thin big-man rotation for the Nets, he could also be a valuable piece.
For an unhappy superstar, this could be a very good package.
When it comes to the Celtics, they do this deal with the Nets because Durant is better than Brown, plain and simple. Theis can be replaced in the open market, as there are a lot of options in the frontcourt. Brown is a good, young piece, but Durant is just better. Even as he ages, Durant will not lose his ability to create a shot and be one of the most talented offensive players in the world.
With Durant instead of Brown, the Celtics likely win the 2022 NBA title, so getting him to pair up with Tatum just expands the championship window for the Celtics significantly. Due to this, Boston would overlook obstacles of age and financial flexibility, pulling the trigger for Durant instantly.