How can the Brooklyn Nets actually bring James Harden to BK? These three trades should work.
Nets fans, it’s officially time to digest the James Harden rumors as reality, whether a deal gets consummated or not.
There’s too much smoke swirling from different directions to dismiss this offhandedly. After all, Woj wouldn’t drop the bomb about Harden’s “focus” on a trade to the Nets, as well as his purported, “Get me to Brooklyn” message.
Woj isn’t the bottom of a comment section. He doesn’t just…say things.
So, theoretically, what would it take to get Harden out of the red-and-black and into the regular black? Frankly, that calculus has changed in the past 24 hours, during which we’ve seen an expiring Jrue Holiday go to the Milwaukee Bucks for three future first-round picks, as well as two pick swaps. A king’s ransom for a non-top-25 player in the league could have Rockets GM Rafael Stone (welcome to the job!) salivating, and certainly puts a pin in most of our mocks earlier this week.
What’s technically realistic? These three painful deals probably approximate the conversation.
3. Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Three Future Firsts
Getting James Harden is going to cost the Nets significantly.
Keep in mind we’re comparing the acquisition of the greatest scoring machine currently in the league to the transference of a potential All-Star point guard in Holiday. This has to sting, and it’s possible this trade isn’t even painful enough.
The tenor of the discussion changes, though, when you realize that the first might not even be all that valuable. If the Nets’ grand plan materializes, then the Rockets will be drafting in the mid-to-high 20s several times over the course of a five-year period. Yay? In NFL speak, the Nets would essentially be flipping a bunch of third- and fourth-rounders.
LeVert will likely have to be the centerpiece of any deal here; he’s the only available Net with true star power (well…we’ll get to that later). Dinwiddie seems like he’s embraced his own departure, and would be better served as a creator on a team that allows him more access to the basketball (he thought he was deemphasized in Brooklyn before?!).
This certainly stings, but Eric Bledsoe is far more established in this league than LeVert and has a longer resume. George Hill is a lower-caliber piece than Dinwiddie, sure, but the picks are identical and that’s what Holiday cost as an expiring contract. Harden won’t be a UFA until 2023.
In order to make Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving happy, the Nets will have to pay up. There is a slightly different way to go about this, though.