When it comes to trades for the Brooklyn Nets, the obvious focus is on Kevin Durant. The former superstar’s MVP asked for a trade on June 30, but the Nets have yet to find an offer that matches their obviously lofty price tag for the future Hall of Famer.
Right now the Nets have a strong roster on paper. They have two legit superstars in Durant and Kyrie Irving as well as an All-Star guard in Ben Simmons and shoot around them in Joe Harris, Seth Curry and Patty Mills. As the Nets go into the 2022-23 season with this roster, you should feel good about their chances.
That said, it’s the boring part of the NBA offseason, so it’s high mock trading season. This fake trade is from Bleacher Report and it has brought the Nets Simmons to the Atlanta Hawks in a deal.
The fake trade proposal
Atlanta Hawks received: Ben Simmons
Receiving Brooklyn Nets: John Collins and Onyeka Okongwu
B/R on why the Nets are doing this deal
The Nets’ interest in this deal would depend on whether they’re comfortable with Simmons as the core piece. In the wake of Kyrie Irving’s semi-available season, you could forgive Brooklyn for wanting to get rid of players who might or might not be able to play for reasons other than injury. Simmons’ mental health-related stay in Philadelphia may still loom as a worrisome variable for the Nets.
Collins is a quality starter who will earn an average of $25.5 million over the next four years, about $12.5 million less per season than Simmons will receive in the last three years of his contract. With Okongwu on a rookie contract, Brooklyn leaves this exchange with two high-value assets on withholding salaries. As long as the Nets and Hawks have different opinions about Simmons – the former arguing that the cost and hassle is not worth the output on the track and the latter disagreeing – the rationale for a transaction is there.
Analyzing the deal from Nets’ point of view
This is certainly an interesting deal. The Hawks, of course, knocked out Simmons’ Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the Eastern Semifinals in the 2021 playoffs. That game is where Simmons had the infamous out-dated dunk, for which Hawks star Trae Young defended Simmons.
While the Nets still haven’t seen Simmons fit alongside Irving and Durant, consider that Brooklyn might be making this deal just because they can’t exactly trust Simmons in a playoff setting. He didn’t really show much to disprove that thought in Philadelphia, while John Collins was a huge chunk of Atlanta making it to the Eastern Conference finals in 2021. This is a profession to consider at the very least, as it would make Brooklyn taller and more athletic.
More Nets news and notes
Story originally appeared on Nets Wire