After dealing away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at the NBA trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets are loaded with assets to further improve their roster. They made one major move at the start of the free agency period on June 30 and locked in their starting forward Cameron Johnson, who was a restricted free agent, to a 4-year, $108 million deal. Now the Nets are being linked to a monster trade that could go down this offseason.
Multiple reports have confirmed that All-NBA guard Damian Lillard wants a trade out of Portland. And a new report from Greg Sylvander of 5 Reasons Sports says the Nets could be a part of a three-team blockbuster trade involving Lillard that could also help them unload the $177 million contract of their starting forward Ben Simmons.
“As Dame to Miami deal continues to be worked on, I’m told at least one challenge in negotiations has been the fact BKN wants to ship out Ben Simmons as part of this deal,” Sylvander tweeted on July 4. “The sticking point being that no team is particularly interested in taking him so far, per source.”
Nets Cautioned About Making Trades This Offseason
The Nets have a wealth of assets at their disposal should they pursue a trade for the next disgruntled star or at least an above-average role player. So far this offseason they have been linked to trades for Lillard as well as Miami Heat sharpshooter and former Sixth Man of the Year Tyler Herro.
But Brian Lewis of the New York Post notes that any move that is available to the Nets this offseason, won’t push them into title contention.
“Herro is a good player. Lillard is a great one. There’s not a team in the world that they wouldn’t make better. But the question the Nets have to ask — and for their sake, answer correctly — isn’t just how much either player would help but how much they’d truly cost, not just today but a year or two down the road,” Lewis writes.
“Because the Nets are nowhere near contending for a championship. Adding Herro doesn’t change that, and — as dominant as he is — neither does dealing for Lillard. For that, they’ll need patience.”
Draymond Green Sounds off on Ben Simmons
The Nets could make another big move, which would be any trade that would rid them of Ben Simmons’s contract. The former All-Star averaged just 6.9 points per game last season and is scheduled the make $37.8 million this year. Trading his contract away would give the Nets more leverage in negotiations for another disgruntled star or a free agent. Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green believes Simmons’ confidence is his biggest issue.
“You seen people lose confidence in their game and you’re like, ‘What happened to them?’ Like Ben Simmons. Ben Simmons is the perfect example. Ben Simmons is still the same Ben Simmons we watched dominate in Philly. You know the only difference between in Philly and Ben Simmons now? It’s confidence. Once you lose your confidence, and I feel bad for people who lose confidence in their game,” Green said during an appearance on “Podcast P with Paul George.”
“I never lost confidence in my game, so I’ve still been able to have a really good career and be successful and do the things that I’ve done. But I know how it feels to lose confidence because I lost confidence in my shot.”