After losing game seven to the Milwaukee Bucks in heartbreaking fashion, the Brooklyn Nets will have to regroup and start their campaign towards winning the 2022 NBA Finals. Part of this regroup could involve training and preparing with the roster from last year, but there are also some trades that could be made to improve next year’s roster.
Tampering with the roster may not be the best idea for the Nets since it seemed like team chemistry (along with injuries) was a factor in their loss to the Bucks in the eastern conference semifinals. Recently, the Los Angeles Lakers made major changes to their roster following their 2020 NBA Finals victory, and that did not work out well for them since they were defeated by the suns in the first round of the playoffs. Regardless, this article will focus on three possible trades that could improve the Nets lineup for next season.
Sacramento Kings Trade: Marvin Bagley III
Brooklyn Nets trade: Landry Shamet, Nicholas Claxton
Marvin Bagley III was the second pick overall in the 2018 NBA Draft out of Duke, where he won prestigious accolades such as ACC player of the year. Bagley has shown promise across his three years in the NBA, averaging 14.5 points on 50% shooting and 7.5 rebounds in 25.5 minutes of action for his career.
This upcoming year will be the last year of his rookie contract, and it does not seem like the Kings will give him the money that he will want, as they seem to prefer Tyrese Haliburton and De’aaron Fox to lead their franchise. Also, Bagley liked a tweet earlier this month suggesting that he should leave the Kings, so he might enjoy being traded to a team such as the Nets.
The downsides to Marvin Bagley would probably be his inconsistent jump shot, the fact that he has been injury prone early in his career, and his poor defensive performance. However, these are all skills that can be fixed with proper training assuming that he can stay healthy.
On the Nets side, Nicholas Claxton has only played in 47 NBA games. However, he has shown flashes of greatness that keep Brooklyn Nets fans begging for him to play more minutes. Defensively, he is excellent in the pick and roll since he can switch onto guards without a problem. He also averaged 1.2 blocks in only 18.6 minutes this season, so he has shown that he can be trusted as a rim protector. Offensively, Claxton can finish lobs and he is developing a pick and roll game.
Landry Shamet met but did not exceed his expectations coming into last season where he averaged 9.3 points on 40.8% shooting and 38.7% from 3PT. The Nets could survive without Landry Shamet since they have Joe Harris. Joe Harris averaged 14.1 points on 50.5% shooting along with a league-leading 47.5 three point percentage.
Philadelphia 76ers Trade: Ben Simmons, Shake Milton
Brooklyn Nets Trade: Joe Harris, Nicholas Claxton, Alize Johnson
Ben Simmons would be an interesting fit on the Brooklyn Nets as he would add defensive intensity and a penetrator to create shots for the big three and other perimeter shooters. Simmons had a down year for his standards in the 2020-21 season on the offensive side since it seemed like he was unusually passive. This passive behavior on offense by Simmons was evident in the Series against the Atlanta Hawks, where he only took seventeen shots in games two, five, six, and seven combined and averaged 5.8 points for those crucial contests. However, the positives outweigh the negatives for Ben Simmons, who has been an All-Star three times in four seasons and qualified for the NBA all-defensive first team twice.
Shake Milton averaged 13 points in 23 minutes last season and he plays even better than the numbers suggest. He may not be the right player for the Nets since they are well built at the guard position, but he could be a very valuable option if one of the guards were to get injured.
Even though Joe Harris, Nicholas Claxton, and Alize Johnson have all shown that they can be a part of the Nets future, it might be worth it to get Ben Simmons and have an all-star starting five counting Blake Griffin.
Indiana Pacers Trade: Caris Levert and Goga Bitazde
Brooklyn Nets trade: Landry Shamet, Joe Harris, Spencer Dinwiddie (sign and trade)
In a blockbuster trade, the Nets would finally welcome Caris Levert back to their roster using Landry Shamet, Joe Harris, and Spencer Dinwiddie. Giving up Spencer Dinwiddie would be a significant loss, as he averaged 20.6 points on 41.5% shooting along with 6.8 assists in his last complete season before he tore his ACL.
Caris Levert averaged 20.7 points on 44.3% shooting with the Pacers, and he also improved on defense with 1.5 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. He also seems to be improving at the defensive end of the floor where he would be an upgrade on defense over other Nets such as Landry Shamet.
Goga Bitadze averaged 5.2 points on 42.8% shooting along with 1.4 blocks in 12.8 minutes last season. He stands at 6’11 and has only played two years in the NBA, so he could be developed by the Brooklyn Nets into a serviceable starting center.
The trade seems fair on both sides since Dinwiddie has the potential to come back from injury and be his 2019 self, and just in case he does not come back to his full form, the Nets are packaging Joe Harris and Landry Shamet who are very capable shooters that can stretch out a defense.
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