1 player Nets must trade in 2023 NBA offseason

The playoffs are officially up and running, meaning the season is already over for most organizations in the NBA, including the Brooklyn Nets. They were recently eliminated from the playoffs, swept from the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Nets had one of the most interesting seasons in the league. They ended up trading away both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in February despite having one of the best records in the NBA. Still, Brooklyn managed to finish 45-37 and secure the No. 6 seed and final direct playoff spot in the East.

However, the brand-new roster was no match for the Sixers. Despite having their moments, including boasting multiple double-digit leads in second halves, the Nets’ season ended on Saturday with a 96-88 loss at home.

Now with eyes on the 2023 offseason, Brooklyn’s front office will have big decisions to make over the next few months. Cam Johnson is a restricted free agent and might be after a big paycheck. Also, the team needs to decide whether it will fully embrace a rebuilding process or try to compete by bringing in some experienced players.

Whichever path the Nets choose, they will face a tough road ahead. Brooklyn is already over the salary cap for 2023-24 with cap holds even before re-signing Johnson, meaning the team might need to move some players in order to explore other options. . This means that the team might need to move some players in order to explore other options.

With that being said, here is one player the Brooklyn Nets should consider trading in the 2023 NBA offseason.

1 player the Brooklyn Nets must trade in 2023 NBA offseason: Ben Simmons

Once the Big 3 was formed, many expected the Nets to be a threat in the league for years to come. Even with Irving sidelined for the last three games of the series due to an ankle sprain, Brooklyn came within an inch of beating the eventual-champion Milwaukee Bucks in Game 7 of the 2021 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

After less than a full season together, the front office broke up the trio by sending Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers at the 2022 trade deadline. Other than first-round picks, the main asset that came to the Nets was Ben Simmons. With Durant and Irving still on the roster, some believed the Australian could be a solid complement to the duo with his versatile defense and playmaking.

Unfortunately for Brooklyn, Simmons has yet to live up to those expectations. In 42 games with the franchise, he’s averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists plus 1.3 steals. He shot 56.6% from the field but just 43.9% from the free-throw line.

To make matters worse, the Nets ended up trading away both Durant and Irving during 2022-23. Not long after the trade, the team shut down Simmons for the remainder of the season due to a nerve issue in his back.

Without him, the Nets still made it to the playoffs before falling to the Sixers in the first round. Still, with the emergence of Mikal Bridges and Johnson, the team might have found its future cornerstones, potentially turning the page without Simmons.

However, inexperience hurt the Nets in the postseason. To address the situation, Brooklyn might need to get some veterans who can help on the court. Since Simmons has had many injury-related problems in his career, he might not fit the team’s timeline. Because of that, the front office could explore trading him away in the 2023 offseason.

The problem is that Simmons has two more years left on his contract worth about $78 million. With his health in question, the LSU product’s value is at an all-time low. If Brooklyn could find a trade partner for Simmons, the front office should consider pulling off the trigger. It would give him a fresh start while the Nets could bring another player who can contribute right away.

One player who has been linked to the Nets in recent days is Damian Lillard. The star had another big year with the Portland Trail Blazers as he put up a career-high 32.2 points with 7.3 assists. He made a personal-best 46.3% of his field goals, 37.1% of his 3-pointers and 91.4% of his free throws. Although he had impressive numbers, the Blazers failed to reach the postseason for the second season in a row.

Should the Nets go after Lillard, the package must include Simmons. It would help to match the salary plus give Brooklyn a veteran with plenty of playoff experience. As for Simmons, he could get a fresh start in Portland out of the spotlight, giving Chauncey Billups’ team some much-needed defensive teeth and stylistic flexibility.

All things considered, the Nets should trade Simmons this offseason. They could get important assets to help them compete while the three-time All-Star goes to an organization that probably won’t have hopes of winning immediately.

The post 1 player Nets must trade in 2023 NBA offseason appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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