The Nets composed the other half of the parties that made the biggest trade of the 2021-22 season possible.
Like the case of the Philadelphia 76ers, the Nets traded away someone who doesn’t want to be in their building but opinion several analysts are still opposing whether Brooklyn won or lost the trade.
However, like the Sixers, the Nets elevated their championship contending team to a championship window.
See related story: Philadelphia 76ers trade: Hello double barreled offense
The Nets receive Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and a couple of future first round picks
They gave up James Harden and Paul Millsap to the 76ers.
The Nets had to make a move after losing 11 straight, falling to the eight seed spot, and being pestered by James Harden rumors not being happy playing with the team.
Even as Head Coach Steve Nash denied the team being interested in trading Harden mid-season before the actual trade was announced, many are not surprised when the big splash happened about an hour before the deadline expired.
This looks like a win for the Nets on paper so far.
Firstly, there was a need to send Harden packing after he made his “wanting out” message clear. The ultimate outcome if he was not traded will never be known but based on Harden’s previous experience at Houston, he might become a non-performing asset, as was Simmons to Philadelphia. It did not hurt that the other player the Sixers wanted, Millsap, is someone they are not utilizing at all.
Secondly, they received a big who can defend and protect the rim. A deeper look at their depth chart shows Drummond is somebody they badly needed when they face teams like Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
Thirdly, the receive a guard who can shoot and complement the two remaining superstars. Curry may not be the star Harden is but his skill set is something that can help fill up the void Harden left.
Then there is the Ben Simmons thing. He will truly represent the return Brooklyn will get from this trade. If he comes back to the hardcourt resembling even just 80% of who he was prior to sitting out this season, the Nets gets three excellent pieces to fit in their championship roster.
Further, all Simmons have to do be his self and play his game. He doesn’t have to carry the team on his shoulders.
On a very small sample size of three games, all without Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Simmons, Curry and Drummond made the Nets feel the won the trade.
Curry played 32 minutes and logged a team-high 23 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 triples to led the Nets in halting their 11-game streak against the Sacramento Kings, 109-85. Drummond contributed 9 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 block and was +23 when he was on the floor during the 24 minutes he played.
A couple of nights later, Curry scored 20 points and dished 6 assists to help the Nets overhaul a 28-point deficit and eventually dealt the New York Knicks a 111-106 loss. Curry was +27 and knocked in 6 triples, both team-highs, during the 36 minutes he was on the floor. Drummond grabbed 19 big rebounds and blocked a shot in 22 minutes playing time.
Washington dealt the duo their first loss a Nets, 103-117, the next night. Curry was limited to 12 points but still logged 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 triples on 31 minutes playing time. Drummond grabbed 9 rebounds and stole the ball once.
Assuming Durant, Simmons and Irving eventually join them in the starting unit, .
If Durant and Irving are both healthy and available and if Simmons can be at least 80% of his old self, no team wants to face the Nets early in the playoffs, even if they have homecourt advantage.
By Armando M. Bolislis