They acquired the 31-year-old superstar from the Rockets back in January in a 4-team trade.
FULL TRADE DETAILS, per @ShamsCharania
◻️ James Harden
◻️ 3 BKN first-rounders
◻️ 1 MIL first
◻️ 4 BKN 1st-round swaps
◻️ Caris LeVert
◻️ Jarrett Allen
◻️ Taurean Prince pic.twitter.com/esGgmHULmI
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 13, 2021
The Nets now have the NBA’s newest Big 3.
As such, they also became one of the favorites to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy this season.
While Harden, KD, and Kyrie form a dangerously potent offense, the Nets do not have a cakewalk to the Finals.
Brooklyn also sacrificed a key role player by shipping out Caris Levert.
The results since acquiring ‘The Beard’ have been a mixed bag.
The Brooklyn Nets are No. 1 in Points Scored and dead last in points allowed in the NBA since the James Harden trade.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 3, 2021
The Nets are 7-5 with wins over the Bucks, Heat, and Clippers.
That includes a 4-1 mark when all three of Harden, Durant, and Irving share the court.
However, the defense has been horrendous.
They have surrendered 124 PPG to opponents in these 12 games, which includes 2 games giving up over 140.
As the old saying goes, “Defense wins championships”, and Brooklyn does not have a championship-caliber defense right now.
Here are two moves that would help tighten things up on the less-glamorous end of the court.
Trade for PJ Tucker
Yes, the Nets do not own their first-round draft pick until 2028 (!!).
But they still have a few second-round picks in the 2021 draft and beyond.
Which works out perfectly with the report the Houston Rockets want either a first-round pick or three second-round picks, per Brian Windhorst.
With the Nets recently filling out their 15-man roster after signing Noah Vonleh, they would have to make room.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 8, 2021
This trade transforms the Nets into the Rockets 2.0.
Slotting Tucker at the 5 would give the Nets a small-ball lineup with some defensive prowess.
Tucker, despite his size, is fully capable of handling larger centers and power forwards.
PJ has the size and strength to switch across multiple positions and hold his own.
His perimeter shooting would also ensure the paint doesn’t get too crowded on offense.
Moving DeAndre Jordan to the bench would provide energy and athleticism to the second unit.
However, the Nets could have some trouble on the glass as Tucker is not a great rebounder.
But for the price of a few second-round picks, acquiring a plug-and-play veteran would be a shrewd move.
Trade for Andre Drummond
This trade is the opposite of the PJ Tucker trade.
While with Tucker the Nets find a role player hoping to marginally swing the needle, Brooklyn shoves all their chips to the middle with Drummond.
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 2, 2021
Cleveland may hang up the phone without the possibility of first-round picks, but Brooklyn has some enticing trade chips.
After March 3rd, teams are free to trade players they went over the salary cap to sign.
Dinwiddie is currently out with a torn ACL but flashed borderline star potential when healthy.
Last season with the Nets saw Spencer average 20.6 PPG and 6.8 APG across 31 MPG.
His shooting splits weren’t great (41.5% FG, 30.8% 3PT) but he proved he could be a high-volume scorer.
Meanwhile, Harris is one of the NBA’s elite shooters.
He is a career 43% shooter from deep and has been red-hot this year, hitting on 49.7% of his 6.8 3PT attempts-per-game.
His incredible shooting makes him the ideal role player in today’s game.
For the Nets, Drummond solidifies the paint on both ends.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) February 1, 2021
He is an elite rebounder who can defend against the talented bigs Brooklyn may encounter (Embiid, Jokic, Davis) in the playoffs.
Drummond would give the Nets arguably the most talented starting-5 in the league.
Losing Harris would hurt, but Irving, Harden, and Durant are all above-average shooters from deep.