Analyzing the Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving Trades for the Brooklyn Nets

In a span of two weeks, the Brooklyn Nets have traded both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant as both players demanded trades and the superstar experiment failed in Brooklyn. The Nets had to give up a lot to get them two and James Harden who was moved previously and we’ll break down if they got enough back from what they gave up to get the failed trio. 

Initial Acquisitions:

Brooklyn Nets receive Kevin Durant and a 2nd round draft pick in a sign and trade deal with the Warriors receiving D’Angelo Russell, Shabazz Napier, and Treveon Graham in July 2019. 

Kyrie Irving signs with the Nets in July 2019 after Kevin Durant announces his plans to head to Brooklyn. 

The Brooklyn Nets trade for James Harden and receive a future 2nd round pick in a 3 team deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets in January 2021. The Houston Rockets receive Caris LeVert, Rodions Kurucs, and 7 first round picks from the Nets – with 4 of the picks having swap options. The Rockets also received Dante Exum & a first round pick from the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers received Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, and Aleksandar Vezenkov from the Nets. 

The Breakup of the Trio: 

James Harden is traded to Philadelphia along with Paul Millsap in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond, and two future first round picks in February 2022. Not long after, both Kevin Durant & Kyrie Irving requested trades of their own. 

Nearly a year after the Harden trade, on February 5th of 2023, the Nets traded Kyrie Irving & Markieff Morris to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for 2 future second round picks, one future first round pick, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Dorian Finney-Smith. 

Less than a week later, the Nets shipped Kevin Durant off to Phoenix in a 4 team deal. The Nets received 3 players including Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson along with 7 future picks with 5 of them being first rounders. 

The Aftermath: 

The trio of Harden, Irving, and Durant only played on the court with one another for a total of 16 games. This was disappointing, especially with the 8 picks they gave up in the process. The Nets now have gained 11 future picks netting them plus 4 picks, but was all of that worth it? Ultimately, the answer is no, the Nets could have spent the time rebuilding with a young core instead of trying to win now. The Nets tried that experiment years ago with Garnett, Pierce, and Terry which ultimately led to a disastrous tumble or the Nets that took years to recover from and led to the start of the Celtics run at being one of the best teams in the league. The Nets tried to do what they couldn’t do with KG & Paul Pierce, but it failed again. Thankfully for them this time, the Nets parted ways with their superstar trio while they could still get a solid value in return. The Nets are going to be one of the bottom dwellers in the NBA for a few years now as Ben Simmons is the best player remaining and he hasn’t done well since his glory days in Philadelphia. 

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