What happens if Kyrie Irving, who has requested to be traded receives the trade he wants and is traded to the new team as part of a deal of draft picks and veteran players with expiring contracts?
For me, this will indicate it’s a sign that the Nets have made the decision to start from scratch. This means that the next move will likely to be to trade the superstar Kevin Durant, currently injured to another set of picks and other assets to kick-start the rebuild.
The game we play is “What If?” we aren’t sure who the Nets are likely to bring back in a trade or several trades, but as we wait to wait to see what happens when they Nets front office play their cards, there’s some new talent in the team to take more of a look at.
Ben Simmons has never fully returned to the athleticism the player displayed prior to his fall out with the 76ers 2 years back. Simmons was absent for the entirety of the season last year, initially due to mental health reasons , and later due to back problems. Back issues continue to afflict him throughout this season, however the player also evidently didn’t have the confidence to for a goal. The 5.9 FGA would constitute a significant career low and is about 50% of his record-setting average.
However… If Kyrie and Durant were gone , and the Nets thus had no expectations for an effort to rebuild, would Simmons begin to find his rhythm again? In the final 40 games of the regular season that he played with the 76ers in 2021, Simmons averaged 14.9 PPG on 10.4 FGA, 6.7 RPG, 6.5 APG, 1.6 SPG and 0.5 BPG. He played one game together with Joel Embiid out, where the score was 42 points on 26 field shot attempts! This Simmons hasn’t been seen for many years, but in the time of “What If?” it’s possible that he will appear.
Nic Claxton is another young player who has the greatest potential. He’s already recognizing this, having played an eight-game run in January , where he recorded 20.1 PPG. 11.4 RPG 3.1 BPG and 2.1 APG in 34.5 MPG. He had seven double-doubles as well as five 20-point games in the eight games. Claxton is just 23 years old. young, but is a very viable defensive player of the year contender and holds a lot of upside regardless of any moves that the Nets make in the coming months.
The third and youngest upside prospect in the team is Cam Thomas. Thomas is currently in his second season and hasn’t had the chance to get rotations in level NBA level. He has however won his position in the NBA the summer league over the past two summers, and has shown a flair for scoring that is a must at a high level in the NBA. Thomas has scored an average of 20.0 PPG over 23.5 MPG in his previous two appearances, and has scored at least 15 points in the past seven games, and has set his career record with 33 points over 29 minutes on December. 10. If he is suddenly inserted into the starting lineup as a featured player it could be a chance for him to make significant noise following his All-Star break.
Simmons is on the roster in 81.3 percent of ESPN leagues, which means that Simmons is available via the free agency market in one out of five leagues. The asking price for trading is available at the moment, and so are his asking prices. If you’re a part of an team that’s either locked up and seeking depth with potential or, conversely, in the event that your team is struggling and hoping to make the jackpot, Simmons could be worth purchasing if you can make the purchase on a budget.
Claxton is on the roster in 86.8 percent of leagues and has been performing well in recent times and is just an excellent trading target overall. I would suggest acquiring Claxton in an overall package deal, reducing the risk, and also offering his services as an add-on player, in order not to raise the price of his trade.
Thomas is on the roster in the leagues with the highest depth So you can grab him today and see what happens. I just added Thomas to one of my rosters.