In the high-stakes world of professional basketball, the Brooklyn Nets have become synonymous with strategic trading and an unwavering pursuit of greatness. With the 2023 NBA Draft fast approaching, all eyes are on the Nets' front office as they hold the 21st and 22nd picks. Of course, these are prime assets to further fortify their current roster. Here we will look at the three best Brooklyn Nets trades using their No. 21 and 22 picks in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Again, we will suggest some interesting trade scenarios using these coveted draft picks. These would showcase their unwavering commitment to success and solidify their position as possible contenders despite being on a bit of a rebuild.
Keep in mind that the Nets finished the 2022-23 NBA season with a record of 45-37, good for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. For most of the regular season, the Nets were led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, we all remember how they both left Brooklyn for different teams in the West. Despite that, the Nets were also a strong defensive team last season. In fact, they allowed just 112.1 points per game. That's good for ninth place in 2022-23. However, they struggled to stay healthy, and they were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Philadelphia 76ers.
In the upcoming 2023-24 season, the Nets face critical factors that will shape their success. First and foremost, the development of promising young players such as Mikal Bridges, Nic Claxton, and Cam Johnson will play a pivotal role in bolstering the team's performance. Additionally, the Nets' ability to strategically acquire seasoned talent to complement their roster holds immense importance. Moreover, maintaining the overall health and well-being of the team will be crucial. Sure, losing big names like Irving and Durant presents a challenge. Still, if the Nets can effectively nurture their young talent, secure veteran additions, and maintain their health, they have the potential to clinch a playoff spot.
Now let's look at the best Nets trades using their No. 21 and 22 picks in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Trade for Jerami Grant
2023 first-round picks (No. 21 and 22)
In this scenario, Brooklyn could trade the 21st and 22nd picks to the Blazers for Jerami Grant. Grant is a 29-year-old forward who averaged 20.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per game last season. He would give the Nets a much-needed scoring boost and could help them compete for a playoff berth. He would almost immediately form a 1-2 scoring punch with Mikal Bridges on the wings for the Nets.
On the flip side, the Blazers would get two more first-rounders in addition to their No. 3 and No. 23 overall picks already. In addition, they'd also get Cam Johnson, who can surely play a solid role as another scoring option for Portland.
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 5, 2022
Trade for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
2023 first-round picks (No. 21 and 22)
This trade would give the Nets a young, dynamic point guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. He averaged 31.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.5 assists per game last season. SGA is a great scorer and playmaker and would be the perfect rebuilding cornerstone for the Nets. The Nets would also get Jaylin Williams, who is a potentially solid big man. He would give the Nets a good inside defender.
The Thunder would get Spencer Dinwiddie and Nic Claxton. Dinwiddie is a reliable scorer, while Claxton has become an elite rim protector. Both would be great additions to the Thunder's young core, and they would help take the team to the next level. The Thunder would also get Seth Curry, who is a great shooter and a solid defender. Curry would give the Thunder another scoring option and would help to improve the team's defense.
Trade for De'Aaron Fox
2023 first-round pick (No. 21 and 22)
This trade would give the Nets another athletic and dynamic point guard in De'Aaron Fox. He averaged 25.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game last season. Fox is a great scorer and playmaker and would be a perfect fit for the Nets' character as a team. The Nets would also get Harrison Barnes, who is a solid two-way player. Barnes would give the Nets another scoring option and would shore up the team's wing defense.
The Kings would get Spencer Dinwiddie and Cam Johnson. Both have become very reliable scorers and playmakers. Dinwiddie, in particular, would be a great addition to the Kings' young core. The Kings would also get Nic Claxton, who is a young, athletic big man. Claxton would give the Kings another great inside presence who would complement Domantas Sabonis in a great way.
These are just three of the many trade proposals that could be made involving the Nets. It will be interesting to see what the Nets do at the trade deadline, and who they end up trading for.
Looking ahead, the Nets are facing a major rebuilding project after the departures of Irving and Durant. As things stand, the team will be led by Bridges, Claxton, and Johnson, who are all solid players with upside. However, they will need to develop quickly if the Nets want to be competitive in the Eastern Conference. Bridges is a two-way wing who can defend multiple positions and shoot the three-ball. He should be untouchable in any trade unless the Nets receive anyone like Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetohounmpo, Joel Embiid, or Nikola Jokic. That just won't happen, though.
Take note that the Nets are not expected to be a championship contender in 2023-24. That said, they could make the playoffs if they develop their young players and add some veteran talent this offseason.