The Brooklyn Nets have been engaged in trade rumors since before their season even ended. After the injury debacle with Ben Simmons many were calling for the Nets to try to move the Australian point guard in an offseason trade. Before trades could even be explored Kyrie Irving’s contract negotiations with the Nets got messy and were very public. Irving even dangled the thought of signing for the $6 million mid-level extension with the Los Angeles Lakers as a way out of Brooklyn. That was likely a leverage play, as Irving opted into the final year of his contract with the Nets.
When it looked like the Irving situation had settled with him opting in, Kevin Durant requested a trade in a phone call with Nets owner Joe Tsai that then shook the NBA offseason into a frenzy. Despite a flurry of trade proposals the Nets remain unlikely to find a suitor to match their historic asking price, and the Nets may be running it back with their stars.
With Durant and Irving not looking likely to be moved this offseason, perhaps the Nets will revisit a deal that sends Simmons away and puts the Nets in a position to contend for a championship. One recent trade proposal shared by Bleacher Report puts the team in a good position to do so.
Simmons to Atlanta for John Collins?
In a recent column, Bleacher Reports, Grant Hughes shared a possible trade proposal that would send John Collins from the Atlanta Hawks to Brooklyn along with fellow Hawks big man Onyeka Okongwu. The proposed deal he shared goes as follows.
Brooklyn Nets Receive: John Collins and Onyeka Okongwu
Atlanta Hawks Receive: Ben Simmons
The deal helps the Hawks find a trade partner that they have been looking for in Collins deals for some time, and the Nets get a young big with a good deal of potential in return.
Collins averaged over 16 points and nearly 8 rebounds a game for the Hawks last season and could be a viable starting forward to slot in with Durant and Irving. Okongwu brings a solid defensive presence and averaged over 8 points and nearly 6 rebounds in 20 minutes of play for the Hawks.
Right now, signs point to the Nets looking to Simmons as a player to build around, but this could be the right deal for them to get a deal done.
Does the Deal Make Sense?
Atlanta would certainly likely be willing to add Simmons for the defense he brings. He also is another ball handler that could share the duty with Trae Young and the recently acquired Dejounte Murray.
For Brooklyn, they get Collins, a young big man that is under contract for a few years as well as a developing big on a relatively cheap rookie contract. As with all things in Brooklyn, the deal is hard to get done with the uncertainty that remains around Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, but if they were to stay and the Nets chose to try to challenge the East with Collins instead of Simmons, it could be a major move.