The NBA Offseason rumor mill is already in full swing, and the Brooklyn Nets are one of the teams in many of the discussions. Much of the trade discussion in Brooklyn revolves around the Nets’ two point guards, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons. Irving, who is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, could leave the Nets in free agency or possibly a sign-and-trade with another team. Simmons’ time in Brooklyn has been disappointing with his lingering back issues and reported “mental block.” Causing talk of possibly moving on from the All-Star point guard.
One of the latest trade proposals that is floating around Brooklyn comes from Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz. In his list of ‘Surprise Landing Spots for Top 2022 NBA Free Agents,’ Swartz has the Nets star point guard Kyrie Irving leaving Brooklyn and Kevin Durant in a sign-and-trade deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kyrie to LA?
Kyrie has said on the record that he will be back with the Nets and will not leave Kevin Durant this offseason. But he also did that in Boston, and ultimately left them too. So could we see Irving look to new locations this offseason? Could Irving be fed up and want a change of scenery after a rollercoaster season being sidelined by New York City vaccine mandates? It could also be entirely possible after Irving missed so many games due to the vaccine that Brooklyn could be looking to move on from him as well. Whichever situation you have Kyrie leaving in, Los Angeles makes sense as a destination for him.
Irving would join the duo of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, as well as a reunion with former head coach Tyronn Lue. The move would make it so that the Nets don’t lose Irving without getting anything in return, or it could mean that the Nets feel comfortable handing the reigns to Ben Simmons.
Coming to Brooklyn in the deal would be a collection of starters and role players (a package of Norman Powell, Reggie Jackson, and Luke Kennard would make the money work). Could this be a good move for a team thats lack of depth was evident this postseason?
Nets Outlook Next Season If Trade Occurs
The trade would reunite Durant with his former teammate Reggie Jackson, who has come into his own as a scoring point guard for the Clippers and someone that would certainly be capable of carrying the team in Simmons’ absence. Powell also brings a three-and-D wing to Brooklyn that could answer a weakness we saw in their first round series against Boston. Then, Kennard, his fit is a mystery. He has had flashes offensively in games but remains below average defensively. He also has similarities to Joe Harris and Seth Curry, who are set to be on the Nets roster next season.
Certainly it is tough to lose a star player and the best free agent in the class with Kyrie Irving, but it would be better to field a sign-and-trade than lose Irving for nothing in free agency.