It’s not James Harden, but the Brooklyn Nets’ NBA Draft night trade is a win-now move.
Don’t let the screeching halt to the James Harden trade rumors get you down, Brooklyn Nets fans. The No. 19 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft probably wasn’t going to the move the needle in any deal for the Houston Rockets star, if we’re being honest.
But the move the Nets just orchestrated certainly helps position the newly-constructed squad featuring Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving move even closer to title contenders. They got themselves a proven NBA talent who can drill three-pointers.
Brooklyn sent the No. 19 selection across the country to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Landry Shamet, who will now be on his third team in as many seasons after being selected in the first round back in 2018 by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Assuming this isn’t a move to better prepare the Nets to make a run at Harden, Shamet will help this team immensely, especially with Joe Harris expected to return to the team on a multi-year contract. Both of them shoot over 40% from beyond the arc and will be lethal when Durant and Irving need to kick it out on the perimeter.
Shamet’s only appeared in 132 career games, but his value is clear when he’s on the court. The 6-foot-4 shooting guard only averages 9.2 points per game for his career, but he’s primarily come off the bench, making himself most valuable with his ability to shoot, whether it’s spotting up, off the dribble, or coming off a screen.
Shamet coming off the bench for Caris LeVert? Pretty lethal if you ask us. Defenses won’t really get much of a break because the Nets will be firing on all cylinders.
Now, back to the Harden rumors. You have to assume the Rockets want a monstrous haul for the superstar scorer, and draft picks probably aren’t going to fully convince them because the Nets will more than likely have later picks for at least the next three years. Instead of sending Houston a bunch of unproven players in the form of late first-rounders, perhaps Houston asked them to make a deal for a guy like Shamet to package that may also include multiple of Harris, LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen.
If Harden only wants to go to Brooklyn, the Rockets don’t have much of a choice, and rebuilding with non-premium draft picks isn’t the answer. Acquiring at least three proven studs that bring their own style of play and unique characteristics to the game might be their best option.
Whatever the case, Nets fans should be thrilled with this move. It’ll either help them get Harden or give them a weapon off the bench to keep the offense pumping when some starters need a breather.