After touching the superstar stove more than a few times over the last decade only to be badly burned each time, the Brooklyn Nets might have finally learned a lesson.
Kevin Durant was traded to the Phoenix Suns ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline this year, days after Kyrie Irving was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. The deal comes almost a year after James Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, and the future that Nets fans hoped a Kyrie-Durant-Harden core would usher in is dead.
Luca Brasi didn’t sleep with the fishes this hard.
It’s an embarrassing end to one of the biggest gambles in NBA history. Brooklyn put three of he best players in the league together and ended up with exactly nothing to show for it.
Not everything is lost, however. While the core didn’t bring Brooklyn any titles, it ended up providing a treasure trove of future assets for the Nets to give things another shot down the road.
Brooklyn Nets updated draft picks after Kevin Durant trade
They were two separate trades but the moves work in tandem with one another. Brooklyn blew things up, there’s no other way to put it; the Kyrie and Durant trades are basically one monster three-team deal where most of the future assets landed in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn also received eight draft picks across the two trades:
- Suns 2023 1st round pick (Unprotected)
- Suns 2025 1st round pick (Unprotected)
- Suns 2027 1st round pick (Unprotected)
- Mavs 2027 2nd round pick
- Suns 2028 1st round pick (Swap)
- Mavs 2029 1st round pick
- Suns 2029 1st round pick (Unprotected)
- Mavs 2029 2nd round pick
So all in all, the Nets essentially flipped Durant and Kyrie for five players, six first-round picks and two second-round picks. Jae Crowder came over in the trade with Phoenix but he’s expected to be bought out or traded before either of those deadlines pass, which means this deal could continue to grow.
That, ladies and gentleman, is what we call a haul.
It’s impossible to overstate how much of an utter failure the Nets are for the Durant-Kyrie-Harden misfire. It will go down as one of the biggest flops in NBA history, but that’s in the past. Sure it stings, but the Nets took a bad situation and at least set the franchise up to come out on the other side alright.
A treasure trove of draft picks could be used on young talent to add it a suddenly young and exciting core, or flipped to enhance it with a veteran or star player. Brooklyn has touched the superstar stove more times than fans would have liked and gotten burned every single time, but it now appears the team is going to try doing things another way and the initial look on paper is a pretty darn good one.