Proposed Trade Sees Nets Deal Joe Harris for $90 Million Star Center

Joel Embiid, Clint Capela

Getty Joel Embiid and Clint Capela have been trash-talking each other in French in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

As we inch toward the opening of NBA training camps at the end of the month, the Brooklyn Nets will enter the 2022-23 season in as good of a position as they could have ever hoped. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the returns of their All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, the star pair will be suiting up for the Nets this season.

In addition, Brooklyn will debut their star big man, Ben Simmons on opening night, who they acquired at last year’s trade deadline. After missing all of last season due to a back injury, adding him to a star-studded mix of KD and Kyrie could be lethal in the Eastern Conference.

Nets general manager Sean Marks has done his part in building a solid roster. But one area where Brooklyn lacks is the center position. In this latest trade proposal from Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey, the Nets move Joe Harris and Cam Thomas in exchange for Atlanta Hawks star big man Clint Capela to beef up the center spot.

Nets Get:

Clint Capela

Hawks Get:

Joe Harris
Cam Thomas

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Bailey: Warren, O’Neale Could Fill Void Left by Harris

Having a center stable that only consists of Nicolas Claxton and Day ‘Ron Sharpe isn’t exactly a recipe for success. Despite having the raw talent to be a force at the position in the future, both Nets big men are relatively young and inexperienced.

As a team trying to compete for a title now, that won’t bode well for Brooklyn in the playoffs. Especially with them having to go up against star big men such as Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Having a defensive anchor is much more valuable than scoring for the Nets’ current roster. Bailey notes that while losing Harris and his long-range shooting would hurt, the offseason pick-ups of TJ Warren and Royce O’Neal would help fill the void left by him.

“The Brooklyn Nets may not have a single above-average starting center on the roster. Nic Claxton and Day ‘Ron Sharpe both have the potential to become that, but they aren’t there yet. And with Kevin Durant (33 years old) and Kyrie Irving (30) on the team, the Nets don’t really have the luxury of long developmental runways,” Bailey writes per Bleacher Report.

“Losing Harris’ shooting would hurt, but offseason additions T.J. Warren and Royce O’Neale may be able to help make up for that.”

Harris Could Have Increased Role on Hawks

This is one of the rare trade proposals that equally benefits both sides. Losing Harris would sting true Nets fans, as he is the only player left from the rebuild. But they already have another designated shooter in Seth Curry, who they acquired in the Simmons trade.

The trade would also benefit Harris individually as a player. The Nets are loaded with offensive weapons in Irving, Durant, and Simmons. Claxton will also likely command his touches as starting center, and it has yet to be seen how TJ Warren and Royce O’Neale will be used in Nets head coach Steve Nash’s offense.

Trae Young, one of the most dangerous shooters in the league, already commands double teams as soon as he crosses half court. This will give Harris plenty of open looks and allow him to be utilized at a much larger volume than he would in Brooklyn. Bailey calls him one of the “best floor spacers in the league”.

“With Dejounte Murray and Trae Young presumably starting and playing a lot together, the more kick-out receivers they can play with, the better. Though injuries limited Joe Harris to just 14 games last season, he’s one of the best floor-spacers in the league when healthy. Cam Thomas has some upside as a shooter, too,” Bailey adds.

“This move would, of course, impact Atlanta’s depth inside, but Onyeka Okongwu is a more versatile defender than Clint Capela. And John Collins could play some minutes as a stretch 5.”

While this trade proposal benefits both sides and gives the Nets a much-needed boost in the front court, their offense is much more dangerous with Harris in the lineup.

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