When it comes to trades for the Brooklyn Nets, the focus is on Kevin Durant. The former superstar MVP requested a trade on June 30, but the Nets have yet to find an offer that matches their obvious high price tag for the future Hall of Famer.
For now, the Nets have a solid roster on paper. They have two legitimate superstars in Durant and Kyrie Irving along with an All-Star guard in Ben Simmons and snipers around them in Joe Harris, Seth Curry and Patty Mills. If the Nets enter the 2022-23 season with this roster, one has to feel good about their chances.
That being said, this is the boring part of the NBA offseason, so it’s high season for fake trades. This bogus trade comes from Bleacher Report and the Nets are moving Simmons to the Atlanta Hawks as part of a deal.
The Atlanta Hawks receive: Ben Simmons
Brooklyn Nets receive: John Collins and Onyeka Okongwu
The Nets’ interest in the deal would hinge on how comfortable they are moving forward with Simmons as the centerpiece. On the heels of Kyrie Irving’s half-season, Brooklyn could be forgiven for wanting to get rid of players who may or may not be playing for reasons other than injury. Simmons’ sanity-related lockdown in Philadelphia may yet emerge as a concerning variable for the Nets.
Collins is a quality starter who averages $25.5 million over the next four years, about $12.5 million less per season than Simmons will get in the last three years of his contract. With Okongwu on a rookie contract, Brooklyn leaves this trade with two quality assets on mobile salaries. As long as the Nets and Hawks have differing opinions on Simmons — the former believing the cost and hassle aren’t worth the field trip and the latter disagreeing — the logical foundations for a trade are in place.
It is certainly an interesting business. The Hawks, of course, knocked out Simmons’ Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of the Eastern Semifinals in the 2021 playoffs. It was in that game that Simmons had the infamous missed dunk, for which Hawks star Trae Young defended Simmons.
While the Nets still haven’t seen Simmons fit next to Irving and Durant, one has to think that maybe Brooklyn is making this deal just because they can’t exactly trust Simmons in a qualifying frame. He didn’t really show much to refute that thought in Philadelphia as John Collins was a huge chunk of Atlanta making the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021. That’s a trade to at least consider because it would add size and athleticism to Brooklyn.