A blockbuster trade proposal has the Brooklyn Nets continuing their rebuild by sending All-Star guard Ben Simmons to an up-and-coming team in the Western Conference.
The Nets acquired Simmons from the Philadelphia 76ers in a 2022 blockbuster trade that sent James Harden over to Philly. But the Nets wound up commencing a rebuild earlier this year by sending All-Stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving ahead of the trade deadline to the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks, respectively.
At NBA Analysis Network, James Piercey proposed an intriguing trade scenario in which the Nets send Simmons and a 2025 first-round pick to the Houston Rockets in exchange for a 2024 second-round selection:
“In fact, the Rockets already have swap rights on this pick. That’s a product of that same trade that sent Harden to the Nets.
If they made this deal, they’d own the pick outright. That’s a meaningful difference. Whether Houston wants to keep the pick or move it, it will have more value.
Sure, they’ll be taking on Simmons’ contract. That’s not the end of the world. The rest of Houston’s talent is largely cost controlled. By the time their recent lottery picks are due for rookie extensions, Simmons’ deal will be either expiring or off the books entirely.
Moreover, isn’t it possible that Simmons will contribute? At one time, he was arguably the best defender in basketball. Simmons also provides floor vision that few players on the Rockets have. If he can crack their rotation, this could be a steal for Houston.”
The Nets finished 45-37 in the regular season, but they were ousted by the 76ers in the opening round of the playoffs. With Durant, Harden and Irving all long gone, the Nets simply blew their chance of winning a championship.
So trading Simmons for a future asset definitely makes sense on paper. But whether a big-market team like Brooklyn is actually keen on beginning a scorched-earth rebuild or not remains to be seen.
It has been widely reported that Harden is actually keen on returning to the Rockets. So if they were to sign Harden and trade for Simmons, the Rockets would definitely emerge as playoff contenders again following a short-term rebuilding period.
In 42 games this season, Simmons averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists per contest.
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