During the 2021 NBA free agency period, the Brooklyn Nets were unable to retain players such as Jeff Green and Spencer Dinwiddie because they could not match their offer sheets without avoiding going into the luxury tax. The Nets may be in a similar situation this summer. Bruce Brown, Nicolas Claxton, Andre Drummond, and LaMarcus Aldridge could all be free agents, which will leave them with some tough decisions to make as it pertains to their roster heading into next season.
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Nets Trade Ben Simmons for Jerami Grant in Proposed Trade
Claxton, Drummond, Aldridge, and Brown are some of the Nets’ top defenders. Letting them walk would leave them with little to no defense on their roster. In a new proposal from Greg Swartz of “Bleacher Report” , the Nets part ways with All-Star forward Ben Simmons, and bring in Kelly, Olynyk, Cory Joseph, and Jerami Grant from the Detroit Pistons.
“ [Jerami] Grant is a multi-positional defender who could mix and match assignments with Kevin Durant as the team’s starting forwards. He’s averaged 20.9 points and shot 35.3 percent from three over the last two years in Detroit and would be a good third option behind Durant and Kyrie Irving,” Swartz writes per “Bleacher Report”.
“The Nets ranked 20th overall in defense this season (112.3 rating), even behind the rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Magic. While the debut of a healthy Ben Simmons would certainly help, the 25-year-old has battled back problems for years and recently underwent a microdiscectomy procedure to help relieve pain because of a herniated disc. Moving him to a younger team who can afford to be patient with his recovery while getting win-now help in return would be best for a championship-or-bust Nets squad.”
Nets Add Solid Role Players in Proposed Jerami Grant Deal
In the 2022-23 season, Grant will be entering the second year of a 3-year/$60 million deal that he signed with the Pistons in 2020. His contract is significantly less than the roughly $35 million a year Brooklyn will have to pay Simmons until he is a free agent in 2025. But the other part of this deal that sweetens the pot is Kelly Olynyk and Cory Joseph, who at the very least will be solid reserve players on a depleted Brooklyn bench.
“Olynyk is a floor-spacing big who’s knocked down 36.5 percent of his career threes and gives Brooklyn some frontcourt depth with Nic Claxton, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin all hitting free agency. Joseph provides extra ball-handling insurance should Irving miss time because of injury or vaccine mandates,” Swartz continued.
“With Killian Hayes simply not looking like a starting NBA point guard yet, the thought of pairing the 6’11” Simmons with 6’6″ Cade Cunningham would give the Pistons a huge backcourt, one capable of zipping passes all over the court while also playing lockdown defense.”
Simmons is expected to make a full recovery from his back surgery and be ready for the start of training camp. But the fact of the matter is that at the beginning of next season, Simmons will have gone over a year without seeing any NBA action, which leaves many to wonder just what he will be able to bring to this Nets team. It will be interesting to see how Brooklyn decides to construct their roster in the free agency period.