Trades the Nets need to make next after trading Kyrie Irving

Jan 8, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before playing the Miami Heat at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael Laughlin-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 8, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) warms up before playing the Miami Heat at FTX Arena. Mandatory Credit: Michael Laughlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets traded Kyrie Irving in a deal that sent shockwaves through the NBA. How can this team replace Irving to save the Kevin Durant era in Brooklyn?

The Nets were finally able to get rid of Kyrie Irving after a months-long saga of chaos that seriously depressed his trade value. The Nets don’t have a running mate for Kevin Durant and will need the plan to get one if they want KD to stay long-term.

Luckily for the Nets, Durant is under contract for the next four years. If things come to that point, the Nets could simply just not trade Durant. There is no obligation for the Nets to trade for Durant. He can make things complicated with a trade request but it’s not clear we’re at this point.

This allows Brooklyn to at least punt this question of whether they trade him till the offseason. Yes, teams will still smell the fire and try and trade for Durant (as the Suns have said they are if he becomes available) but the Nets can simply decline offers and wait till the summer.

If the Nets aren’t able to acquire a second star in the next couple of days (a likely scenario if they don’t get Siakam from the Raptors), this season will probably end with them losing to one of the Celtics, Sixers, or Bucks due to the lack of another All-NBA player. While this team is solid, Durant will get double-teamed in the playoffs against teams with more star firepower.

These teams simply have too much talent to lose to a team with only one superstar even if that superstar is Kevin Durant. Before it gets to a point where Kevin Durant could request a trade from the team, the Nets do have assets to get them a second star.

What can the Nets offer to get another star next to Kevin Durant?

Yes, they will not have any of the tradeable rights to their picks till 2028 but they are able to offer the Sixers’ 2027 pick, the Mavs’ 2029 pick, and two of those first-round picks from 2028 to 2030 (the 2030 pick is available to trade in the offseason) plus a swap of picks in 2029. The Nets could use those assets now to get an upgrade in talent, like for say OG Anunoby but it doesn’t really make much sense to go after a guy who isn’t an all-NBA player at his reported price.

As Kevin O’Connor reported the Raptors have had trade talks with teams involving Anunoby and Pascal Siakam. The Nets should look at trading for Siakam and Anunoby with more of a focus on Siakam, as he is able to create his offense. The Nets really have one more shot at making the KD era in Brooklyn work, it wouldn’t make much sense to use a lot of their assets to make a move that doesn’t involve getting All-NBA talent back.

The Nets could add a combination of Cam Thomas, Spencer Dinwiddie’s expiring contract, Joe Harris’s expiring salary and the aforementioned picks as well to offer in a deal for all-NBA players. While they have other players as well, those two contracts will get you around $39 million in expiring contracts.

This kind of package definitely gets you in consideration for players like Trae Young (rumored to be looking for an offseason exit from the Hawks) or other stars if they become available in the offseason. While they are in deep trouble in Brooklyn, getting the kind of trade return that they got for Irving at least a chance at saving the Durant era in Brooklyn.

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