15 Players the Brooklyn Nets gave up on way too soon

Brooklyn Nets Vince Carter (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Vince Carter (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets, Jarrett Allen (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

9. Jarrett Allen

The Nets drafted Jarrett Allen with the 22nd overall pick in 2017, and he proved to be one of the steals of that class during his time in Brooklyn. The 6’11 big man became a starter in his second season as the 20-year-old helped the Nets snap a three-year playoff drought. He was even better in year three as his team made it back to the playoffs, despite missing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving for the majority of the season.

The Nets traded Allen in 2021 as part of the four-team swap that brought James Harden to Brooklyn. There were financial ramifications involved as the Nets gave up on a 22-year-old big man to assemble their big three.

Allen immediately took his game to another level in Cleveland. He set a new career-high in minutes per game and was an All-Star in 2022. The 6’11 big man has increased his production across the board with the Cavaliers, and he is on pace to be one of the NBA’s best big men for the next decade-plus.

James Harden lasted just 13 months in Brooklyn before requesting a trade in a forgettable era for the Nets. They went from being a young underdog that was the feel-good story of the league to constant drama, and Allen was a casualty for the team’s star-chasing.