The Brooklyn Nets appear to be headed for a busy offseason, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst revealed that the team will aggressively trade for a third superstar to pair with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving next season.
The Nets brass is reportedly open to shipping away promising studs like Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, and Jarett Allen. Paired with a couple of draft picks, a package involving those talents should be more than enough to entice the 29 NBA teams to consider giving up a superstar-caliber player in return.
With Brooklyn one game from elimination after falling into a 3-0 hole against the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, the Nets front office will have more time on their hands to set up an attractive deal for a star of their choosing.
Let’s look at three superstars that Brooklyn should target in a trade.
3. Ben Simmons
Given the current state of the underachieving Philadelphia 76ers, the Nets must strike while the iron is hot and try to pry away Ben Simmons from the team. The Sixers are likely pondering now more than ever if the Embiid-Simmons pairing is still worth keeping.
Brooklyn does offer the most attractive assets in case they do decide to pull the plug on the point-forward.
The pass-first Simmons would easily be a nice compliment to lethal scorers Durant and Irving. His 6-foot-10 frame also brings size and athleticism for a Brooklyn team that will reportedly employ a small-ball tactic next season.
The 23-year-old Australian also injects some much-needed youth to the Nets, considering Durant and Irving are now 31 and 28 years old, respectively.
Simmons normed 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and a league-leading 2.1 steals per game prior to the hiatus.
The knock on Simmons’ game has always been his shooting. Those deficiencies won’t matter as much in Brooklyn, given he’ll be playing with arguably two of the best knockdown shooters in the league today.
With Brooklyn, Simmons won’t be asked to play outside his comfort zone. He will be tasked to do what he does best — facilitate the offense with his tremendous court vision and overwhelm smaller defenders with his speed and athleticism.
2. Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal proved that he is one of the best shooting guards in the league today, averaging career-best numbers across the board for the Washington Wizards this season.
The team, however, struggled to win despite his gaudy statistics of 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists prior to the hiatus, while knocking down 45.5 percent of his field goals and 35.3 percent of his 3-pointers.
The Wizards might be looking who can offer the best returns for the two-time All-Star, and the Nets might be the ones with the most attractive pieces.
Dinwiddie and LeVert would be great insurance pieces for their other often-injured guard John Wall.
A backcourt of Irving and Beal, on the other hand, would be one of the most terrifying guard rotations in the league.
Even with defenders draped all over him as the primary scorer for Washington, Beal has continued to make buckets at a high rate.
His marksmanship will likely improve further, given all the open shots he would have when defenses collapse on Irving and Durant.
1. Victor Oladipo
The Indiana Pacers would have completely ignored this notion just a few seasons ago. Victor Oladipo, after all, blossomed into a Most Improved Player of the Year winner and a two-time All-Star under their watch.
The 6-foot-4 combo guard, however, is coming off a ruptured quad tendon that forced him to sit out for over a year. He played in 13 games before the NBA suspension, notching 13.8 points on 39.8 percent shooting from the field and 30.4 percent from three in 25.9 minutes per game.
Signs point out that he should be back to his usual production once he gets his legs back.
But during his lengthy absence, the Pacers centered their offense on Domantas Sabonis, who emerged as an All-Star this year. Malcolm Brogdon also did a great job in Oladipo’s stead and it appears Indiana will be all right with him at the wings in the long run.
Brogdon may not be as talented as Oladipo, but Indiana could use this opportunity to bring more options that would fit in their system.
Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert seem to be a great fit in their backcourt rotation, while Jarett Allen will be a great back-up for Sabonis and Myles Turner.
In Brooklyn, Oladipo will form an electric backcourt with Irving, while his defensive chops would also make up for the latter’s shortcomings on that end of the floor.
It might be premature to say, but this possible trade should be a win-win situation for both teams.