Blockbuster Trade Proposal Brings Nets a Lockdown Wing, Starting Center

Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks

Getty Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks addresses the media prior to a game against the New York Knicks.

Despite the fact that he’s under contract through the 2024-25 campaign, fans and pundits alike have been asking questions about Ben Simmons’ long-term future with the Brooklyn Nets. Some are even wondering if the former No. 1 pick still wants to play basketball after he missed the entirety of the 2021-22 season.

Whether Simmons would have actually affected the outcome of the Nets’ ill-fated, first-round playoff series against the Celtics is anyone’s guess. However, if Brooklyn expects to make some noise next season, it will definitely need the three-time All-Star in the fold.

Otherwise, the club may find itself having to make yet another big move.

To that end, one hoops scribe is pitching an outside-the-box deal with the Grizzlies as a means for parlaying Simmons into pieces that would fill gaps across the Nets’ roster.

Proposed Trade Nets Dillon Brooks, Steven Adams

For his latest exploration of potential offseason blockbusters, Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley dropped a new list of “fresh trade ideas” for all of the teams eliminated from postseason play so far. For the Nets, he floated the following deal to transform the team’s starting five:

  • Memphis Grizzlies receive: G/F Dillon Brooks, C Steven Adams, G John Konchar and a 2022 first-round pick (via Utah)
  • Brooklyn Nets receive: G/F Ben Simmons

Brooks may be at the top of hoops fans’ no-no list currently, but when he’s not injuring Gary Payton II, he’s one of the better two-way wings in the Association.

This past season, he averaged 18.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest. Meanwhile, the Grizz — who boasted the league’s sixth-best defense during the regular season — were 3.3 points/100 possessions better defensively when Brooks was on the floor. He would undoubtedly have a similar impact on the Nets.

As for Adams, the league’s strongest pivot player could step into Andre Drummond’s old spot and provide defense and distribution down low. His ability to create opportunities with ball screens would also work be an incredible asset given the Nets’ firepower; the big man ranked third league-wide with 5.5 screen assists per game.

Wrote Buckley:

This trade, then, would see Brooklyn shedding the idea of Simmons for more tangible help. Brooks is a tenacious defender with a fiery (albeit streaky) three-ball. Adams could immediately plug holes in the defensive interior. Konchar is mainly a money-matcher, but he’s also a 6’5″ swingman with a career 40.6 percent splash rate, so the Nets could find him minutes.

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Why the Grizz Do It

There’s no doubting that the Grizzlies are one of the NBA’s elite teams this season, and their current series with the Warriors could be one for the ages. That said, it’s difficult to see Taylor Jenkins’ current group going all the way. Should they fall short, Simmons could be the bona fide star to get them over the hump in 2022-23.

Wrote Buckley:

As for Memphis, this would only work if the Grizzlies think they’re still one piece short of reaching juggernaut status. If that’s the conclusion they reach, snagging a 25-year-old star at a discount might be too tempting to overlook, particularly for a small-market franchise without a history of attracting top free agents.

Something else to consider: the Grizz are running lean and mean right now, but extensions for Ja Morant and Desmond Bane loom (with Jaren Jackson, Jr. getting a bump next season as well). So making a big trade may be Memphis’ only avenue toward acquiring a start from a cap standpoint as well.


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