What’s Next for the Brooklyn Nets this Offseason?

Will the Brooklyn Nets trade Kyrie Irving and/or Kevin Durant this offseason?
Photo credit: Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

There was a time, not too long ago, in which the Brooklyn Nets were one of, if not the worst team in the NBA. At the time, they had an incredibly bleak future, with the Boston Celtics owning all their first round picks in the near future. In the 2015, ’16 and ‘7 seasons, the Nets won 21, 20 and 28 games.

Then, miraculously things started to turn around. Led by an exciting young core featuring De’Angelo Russell, Caris Levert and Spencer Dinwiddie, there seemed to be some hope. Brooklyn finished 42-40 that season, good enough for the sixth seed and a playoff berth.

The following offseason, the Nets surprised the entire NBA. In a shocking move, the team completely changed the roster after landing two star free agents in Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. In just two years, the Nets went from one of the least impressive franchises in the league to a legitimate title contender.

The first year didn’t go too well, but that was to be expected. Kevin Durant missed the entire season recovering from a torn achillies, and Kyrie Irving tried to lead the team to the playoffs while battling his own injuries.

The following season, Brooklyn landed yet another superstar, acquiring James Harden from the Houston Rockets. With this move, expectations for this new big three were understandably high. Many fans considered them a lock to win the NBA Finals.

Unfortunately, things don’t always work out. They definitely haven’t for the Nets. Harden requested a trade out of Brooklyn, and now resides in Philadelphia. Brooklyn was able to get Ben Simmons in return, but he still hasn’t hit the hardwood in a Nets jersey. Kyrie and Durant finally played in the playoffs together last season, and they didn’t win a single game.

Now, we’ve made it to the 2022 offseason. Kevin Durant has requested a trade. Kyrie Irving received permission from the Nets to seek a sign and trade. The only superstar who hasn’t tried to leave yet is Simmons, but he hasn’t played in over a year. So the question on everyone’s mind now is, where do the Brooklyn Nets go from here this offseason?

Option 1: Trade Both

So what can the Brooklyn Nets do this offseason? Their first option is to trade both Irving and Durant, and potentially build a new core around Ben Simmons. The roster isn’t barren outside of their two stars, and they do have some solid pieces to build around.

Brooklyn lost a ton of assets and first round picks when trading for Harden, but by trading both Durant and Irving, they could set themselves up for a very exciting future. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a player of Durant’s caliber get traded, and the return for him alone would be massive. Add in the return for Kyrie, and the Nets might be looking at a short, successful rebuild.

Option 2: Keep Either Durant or Irving

The next option Brooklyn Nets could take this offseason is to trade one of the two. As of now, Kevin Durant has formally requested a trade. Durant is 33, but he’s under contract for four more years so any team trading for him won’t have to worry about losing him to free agency anytime soon. Kevin is still a top-10 player in the league, so any trade for him will have a ton of assets heading back to the Brooklyn Nets

Kyrie is a bit of a different conversation. He opted into a player option, making this the last year of his contract. He’ll be a free agent after this season. Irving’s off-the-court decisions are his own, but they will factor into the minds of other teams possibly trading for him.

Option 3: Keep Both

Their third option is to keep both players. As of now, this looks like the most likely option. Kyrie Irving’s contract situation gives the Nets little to no leverage on the trade market, as many teams would likely rather wait a year to sign him instead of giving up assets for a rental.

Durant on the other hand is a much more secure situation. Durant is under Brooklyn’s control until he’s 37, so the Nets can keep him on the roster for the next four years if they would like to. Ultimately, this is a very tricky situation, and the rise and fall of this franchise has been both immediate and unfortunate. No matter which route Brooklyn’s front office takes though, they should come out of it in a good situation.

Giving up Tyrese Maxey is Not Worth Sixers Getting Kevin Durant

With trade rumors swirling around Kevin Durant, the Sixers could be in position to add another star, but at what cost?

KD to Philly is a Possibility

Here is what we know so far about the Kevin Durant situation. First, we know that Durant has officially requested a trade. While he could be interested in Philly, it is not his top choice. The Sixers, of course, have interest in Durant as well. We all know GM Daryl Morey loves stars, and who wouldn’t want to add KD?

What Would it Take?

One thing that helps is that Durant¬† does not have a no trade clause. However,¬† any team that makes the trade will still have to makes sure that he is on board first. Therefore, the trade would mostly come down to who can offer Brooklyn the most enticing package. While this levels the playing field for the Sixers versus Durant’s slightly more preferred teams, it also means that they will have to cough up a king’s ransom.

Any trade for Durant will likely cost at least three quality players and several draft picks. Just to offset salary, any trade will have to involve Tobias Harris, but it will take much more than that. The Sixers do have some other solid, but expendable assets that they could throw in such as Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton. These three, plus a handful of picks could add up to sufficient value on paper. The trade machine likes it, saying that it would actually favor the Nets. However, there are several hurdles here. First this would require sign-and-trades for both Thybulle and Milton. Secondly and most importantly, that type of return for one of the all-time would be a tough pill for Brooklyn to swallow. As this trade would more or less signal a rebuild, the Nets would likely insist on getting a young star that they can build around. The Sixers have one player that fits the bill: Tyrese Maxey.

Trading Maxey Would be a Mistake

I get that the idea of adding KD is enticing. Of course it is. This is Kevin freaking Durant we’re talking about here. Nevertheless, we have to remember that he is 34 now. While he is still playing at an elite level, his best years are pretty much behind him.

At just 21 years old, Maxey is 13 YEARS(?!) younger than him. He will not reach the age that Durant is now until 2035. He has his entire career ahead of him. After what we saw this season, that future looks extremely bright.

Maxey looks poised to become at least a top 20 player in the NBA as soon as this year, and his ceiling has never looked higher. While Durant is probably still a top five player right now, he’s isn’t going to get any better. In three to five years from now, Maxey could very well be the better player. Again, in five years Maxey will only be 26 while Durant will be 39.

Bottom Line

The main argument for giving up everything, including Maxey, to get KD is that Philly’s championship window is right now. Joel Embiid’s body is not likely to hold up for a very long time. Still, Maxey could give the organization something to build around for the next 10 to 15 years. And the Sixers are pretty good with him right now. Say they do give up everything to get Durant. Now they have a chance to win a title or two in the next three years, if, and this a big if, both Embiid and Durant can stay healthy. That is a hefty gamble to bet your entire future on.