The Brooklyn Nets have more standout players than Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan. Caris LeVert and Joe Harris are emerging talents on a rising team, however both are set to become free agents in the summer of 2020. What do the Nets do?
The answer may seem pretty clear cut. The Brooklyn Nets currently own the Bird Rights on both Caris and Joe. This means that the team is allowed to go beyond the salary cap (to an extent) in order to retain both players on new contracts. But is that what the Nets want to do?
In an ideal world, yes. Seeing as Joe has emerged as a perennial three point assassin, and Caris is an athletic small forward who can create space off the dribble, attack the basket and space the floor. While his shooting splits weren’t fantastic (.429/.312/.691) he was miraculously able to recover from what looked like a devastating foot injury last November in just three months.
The talent goes beyond the big three that was just added. The key to a championship unit is consistently how deep your roster goes. With Joe Harris and Caris LeVert being two of the more significant players on the team, it’s important that the Nets spend whatever they have to in order to retain everything that they’ve built.
But what if loyalty isn’t the route that follows on either end? What if there were to be some commitment issues, what then?
The last thing that the Nets can do is let either player walk for absolutely nothing. There’s too much value to be lost, so although in an ideal world, if Brooklyn wants to re-sign both players, they will certainly be able to, what if something were to change. What could they do?
Option one: Trade for Gary Harris
Seems pretty bold, here’s how it would shake out:
Brooklyn receives: Gary Harris and a 2021 2nd round draft pick via the Sixers (Denver owns Brooklyn’s 2020 pick.)
Now, this would be a near deadline deal, as Garrett Temple cannot be traded until December 15th. For Denver, they would be losing one of their franchise pieces in place of two players that could make an immediate impact in a hopeful championship run. Brooklyn would be getting yet another star in Kings County.
Option two: The Nets make an enormous splash
Once again, sticking with the brand of boldness, here’s a three team trade:
Brooklyn receives: Jrue Holiday and a 2021 first round draft pick via Cleveland
This.. is not ideal. As although once again Brooklyn gets an even bigger talent to pair with the main core, Cleveland gets a nice shake up, and even New Orleans benefits from the young talent and All Star in Kevin Love, ultimately Brooklyn loses floor spacing and perimeter shooting.
Option three: Do nothing
Sounds pretty silly, right? But if the Nets even feel the slightest bit uncomfortable over the impending free agency with both Caris and Joe, maybe the best option is to do absolutely nothing. Ride into the playoffs with what you do have, and try to persuade them to remain in Brooklyn until the very last minute you can.
Again, it’s important to reiterate that the Brooklyn Nets CAN exceed the salary cap to retain both players, and it would be an all-time franchise blunder to let them walk. It’s not inconceivable to think a Godfather type offer could come along for the two players, and if the price is right, maybe it’s something that you entertain.
It’s relatively clear that these two Brooklyn Nets are favorites among the fan base. Keep them home.