The Brooklyn Nets have an interesting summer ahead of them after finishing this season getting swept in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Philadelphia 76ers. After trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving due to the superstars asking out, Brooklyn did what it could to hang on to the sixth seed in the playoffs as opposed to going through the play-in tournament.
Despite Brooklyn playing sub-500 basketball after the trade deadline and getting swept in the playoffs, the Nets experienced some performances that should give them hope for the future. Brooklyn saw players like center Nic Claxton and wings Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson take leaps in their game this season.
What the Nets also saw was their next chance at getting a superstar after seeing Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard courtside at Barclays Center during Game 3. Along with there being a relationship between Lillard and Bridges, it’s possible that Brooklyn could have some incentive in hypothetically making this trade for Lillard, per Bleacher Report:
The moсk trаde
Brooklyn Nets receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers receive: Nic Claxton, Royce O’Neale, Spencer Dinwiddie, 2025 first-round pick (via Phoenix Suns), 2027 first-round pick (via Philadelphia 76ers), 2028 first-round pick (via Phoenix Suns), 2029 first-round pick (via Dallas Mavericks)
Should the Netѕ do thіѕ trаde?
The Brooklyn Nets have a lot to consider this season as they are at a fork in the road with the direction of their franchise. For the purpose of this mock trade, it’s more beneficial to assume that Brooklyn is trying to go all-in on getting back into championship contention. After this trade, Brooklyn would be able to roll out a lineup of Lillard, Bridges, Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and possibly Day’Ron Sharpe if the Nets aren’t able to get a center in the offseason. That is a starting lineup that could be a force in the playoffs.
Verdict: Yes, Brooklyn should do this trade.
Whаt B/R thіnkѕ of the trаde
“The Brooklyn Nets’ experience with Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Kevin Durant shouldn’t put them off chasing stars entirely, but it should have taught them to prioritize reliability in their pursuits. That makes Damian Lillard, so far a one-franchise player whose loyalty borders on superhuman, an intriguing change of pace.
Reports indicate the Nets at least have their antennae up on Dame.
The Nets should consider offering another pick or Dorian Finney-Smith instead of Claxton, whose defensive mobility and shot-blocking make him an ideal Lillard complement—the kind of difference-making center he’s never really had in Portland.”