2. Nets trade for Kyle Kuzma
Nets Receive: Kyle Kuzma and Danilo Gallinari Washington Wizards Receive: Ben Simmons, Noah Clowney, 2025 first-round pick (via PHX), 2029 first-round pick (via DAL)
The Wizards are a dumpster fire with very few positives to take away from this season so far. Kyle Kuzma's ascension to a 20-point scorer since joining Washington in 2021 has been a revelation. What has come along with that has been constant trade rumors involving the 28-year-old. Being a top scorer on a bottom feeder will result in the rumor mill picking up steam over the next month.
Ben Simmons has looked better this year, but another injury has left him in street clothes rather than on the court. The Nets can cut ties with him, and the Wizards can take his contract on. They can buy him out or look to deal with him elsewhere, but the key for Washington is the two first-round picks.
Shooting a career-best 47% from the field and scoring 22.9 points per game, Kuzma, like Grant, adds more scoring to a team that needs more top-end scoring. Kuzma bumps Johnson to the bench, making the team much deeper. Along with Kuzma, they add Danilo Gallinari who can be a valuable bench piece despite recovering from ACL surgery. This move adds depth and offensive firepower to an already deep team.
Giving up two firsts and a young player in Noah Clowney is what the Nets would most likely have to do for a team to take on Simmons' contract. This trade could pay dividends; Kuzma and Gallo aren't good defensive options, but what they add on offense makes up for it. The Nets still keep their players to help out their new teammates on the defensive end. Kuz has become a great playmaker as well, he's averaging a career-high 4.9 assists on the season which would be third-best on the Nets with only Spencer Dinwiddie and Simmons averaging more than four assists on the team.