Opinion: The Nets have lost their minds
I've been watching the Brooklyn Nets since Larry Kenon was a power forward. I really liked the direction they were headed with Coach Kenny Atkinson and thought Kyrie, and especially KD, added to a nucleus of Jarrett Allen, Caris Levert and underrated Spencer Dinwiddie would be formidable.
Now only the Special K's remain and I don't think the Nets are better for it.
How much do I dislike today's trade for James Harden? I wouldn't have pulled the trigger if it was for Levert, Allen and Prince straight up. Adding in multiple first round picks through 2027, strikes me as franchise malpractice.
Even if the Nets fear Kyrie is not to be counted on, how can a team mortgage its future for a great offensive player, when you already have, one, if not two, of the NBA's best offensive players?
Jarrett Allen is a big kid – he's only 22 – and is only starting to become a nightly double-double. Levert, at 26, could be a lethal scorer on a team where he wasn't the 3rd or 4th option. With Kyrie and KD out the other night, he put up 42. And Prince is the type of solid role player the Nets now lack. I know teams have been playing with 8 guys, but that's not the goal.
As for Harden? The Beard will score, but how much can he score when he's on the court with two guys who you can nightly book for 25? And who's the Nets' center? DeAndre Jordan, at 32, can maybe give you 20 minutes a night. Then what? Who's the third scoring option with Dinwiddie hurt and Levert in Indiana?
What made the Nets a potential champion was depth, and now they traded all the depth away – and made drafting new depth impossible. And made signing key free agents difficult because Durant, Irving and Harden are going to be eating up a ton of cap space.
But good job by Houston. The Rockets not only got rid of a headache, they got Victor Oladipo, a less selfish scoring option to go with John Wall and improving big man Christian Wood and enough draft picks to rebuild. In Levert, the Pacers got a younger, bouncier Oladipo.
The Nets? They got one of the best scorers of all time, but the game is still only played with one ball, and a scorer is not what the Nets needed. Nor did they need another unique character in their locker room. Remember, the good old days in Oklahoma and Golden State, when Durant was believed to be the prima donna. Now he's the rock.
Coach Steve Nash had a hard enough job. Now, instead of another assistant coach, he needs a center, a defense, and a chemistry set.