The Brooklyn Nets have a promising future ahead of them as they have recovered as best they could from Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving wanting out. Those trades gave Brooklyn a couple of young players in Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson that the team can build around and some significant draft capital as well.
The only thing is, with the team as currently constructed, the Nets are expected to be a middling team in the NBA. If Brooklyn is unable to prove those expectations wrong, could they decide to enter a full rebuild in hopes of drafting a superstar?
All of this is obviously hypothetical especially since the Nets have made it clear that they are not interested in trading Bridges, even for Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard. Well, this mock trade suggested by James Piercey of the NBA Analysis Network is one in a world where Brooklyn decides to trade Bridges:
The Mock Trade:
Brooklyn Nets receive: De’Andre Hunter, Jalen Johnson, 2024 first-round pick (lottery protected – SAC via ATL), and 2029 first-round pick (ATL)
Atlanta Hawks receive: Mikal Bridges
Should the Nets do this trade?
While it has been established by plenty of reports that Brooklyn is not interested in trading Bridges, it’s interesting to wonder what a Bridges trade would look like. Getting two solid wings in Hunter and Johnson along with two first-round picks would be a good haul for Bridges. Hunter is one of the more interesting players in the league as he has shown that he can be one of those wings that can be part of a winning core, but injuries have plagued his career for the most part. Johnson is more of the athletic, big forward archetype who seems to be learning the game enough for it to catch up to his athletic prowess.
On the other hand, trading Bridges would be marking a full rebuild instead of what they have now which is sort of a competitive rebuild where they will win some games, but won’t be one of the best teams in the league. Currently, Bridges is Brooklyn’s best player and assuming that he continues to get better in the main scorer role, the sky is the limit for him. The Nets giving up on that could be a missed opportunity in having a star-level player already on the roster.
Verdict: No, the Nets should not do this trade.
Story originally appeared on Nets Wire