Another offseason day, another Kyrie Irving trade rumor floats out. This one was courtesy by ESPN’s own Stephen A. Smith, who claimed that the Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks would trade Irving to the Philadelphia 76ers if it wasn’t for Kevin Durant stepping in and saying no, as Durant and Irving are very close friends on and off the court.
The Nets would be making a colossal mistake making this trade
Forget about the fact that Durant doesn’t want to see his close friend getting traded, as a purely basketball move, this trade makes no sense whatsoever for Brooklyn.
People point to the fact that the Nets struggled defensively last season, as having Simmons out there on the wings would be an immediate upgrade over any wing defenders currently on the roster.
However, you’re going to lose a lot in the way of offense if you were to swap Irving for Simmons.
Irving attracts so much gravity with just his presence alone out there on the court. If you try and take away his drive to the rim, he can either just pull up off the dribble anywhere in the mid-range or behind the arc, or he can simply break your ankles with his wide array of crossovers and use his historically great layup package to get two at the rim.
Having Irving on the roster also allows James Harden to take a step back and serve as the primary playmaker on this team.
Last season, the Nets didn’t necessarily possess many shot creators on their roster outside of the “Big Three,” but Harden took it upon himself to create looks for the Nets’ supporting cast while getting to pick his own opportunities to score the ball.
Because of that, head coach Steve Nash had the luxury of staggering the minutes of the superstar trio, with Irving and Durant on the floor together most of the time and Harden being out there with the second unit. That ultimately served as a huge recipe for disaster.
Are we going to forget just how bad Ben Simmons was in the playoffs last season?
A huge reason why Sixers fans want Simmons out of Philadelphia is because of his very poor playoff performance.
He absolutely disappeared in Games 5-7 of their second round series against the Atlanta Hawks, as his reluctance to shoot the ball is really starting to grind the gears of Philly fans.
Plus, as the Nets’ roster is currently constructed, having Simmons’ playmaking skills will essentially be redundant of what Harden brings to the table, and given Simmons’ inability to shoot the ball, he will become much more of a liability than an asset on the Nets’ roster.
Irving is a three-level scorer who just averaged about 27 points per game on 50/40/90 splits. Having that next to Durant and Harden is just scary, as all three of them more than proved that they can work with only one ball to go around them last season.
All-in-all, it’s highly unlikely that the Nets were actually considering this trade to begin with.