Opinion: NBA’s Nets get worse with trades

The Brooklyn Nets are a basketball team that plays in the NBA

The Brooklyn Nets are a basketball team that plays in the NBA

Jacob Staley, Sports editor

The trade deadline has officially passed in the NBA, closing trades for the rest of the season. Teams throughout the league have a new look, hoping to give themselves a better chance at making an NBA Finals push.

The most active team this year was the Brooklyn Nets, and definitely not in a good way. They traded away both of their star players, small forward Kevin Durant and point guard Kyrie Irving.

Kevin Durant and T.J. Warren were traded to the Phoenix Suns for Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, Jae Crowder, four first-round picks, and one first-round pick swap. 

This puts the Suns as clear championship hopefuls and shows they are a “win now, figure out the rest later” team. They no longer have any kind of future or roster depth, which in today’s league probably will not work well with all the injuries NBA players seem to go through.

The Nets also traded Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first-round pick and two second-round picks.

The Mavericks were a team that needed a second star to push them over the top and that is exactly what Kyrie will do. He will team up with Luka Doncic, making them the best backcourt in the league and making them a threat to also win the championship.

The Nets appear to have started a new era in their franchise. Getting a total of eight picks and five good players in return, all being on the younger side, allows for them to still be competitive but definitely not a championship contender for now.

The third major trade that happened included three teams fighting to be a part of the play-in tournament. These teams being the Los Angeles Lakers, the Utah Jazz, and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Lakers traded Russel Westbrook, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Damian Jones, and a first-round pick to the Jazz to acquire Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt. They also traded a second-round pick to the Timberwolves for D’Angelo Russel. The Jazz traded Mike Conley, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and two second-round picks to the Timberwolves for the trade to go through.

The Lakers needed an upgrade at point guard and got it. Russel has been playing really well the past few weeks, causing the Lakers to want to go out and get him. The return of good role players in Beasley and Vanderbilt also gives them depth as well as possible starters to push their team into a playoff or play-in appearance. 

Russel is in the last year of his contract and with the Timberwolves not likely to resign due to the cap room they will have going into the offseason. Conley has two years left on his contract and with Anthony Edwards showing that he will be a future MVP of the league, the Timberwolves didn’t need the scoring and Conely is more a facilitator, giving Edwards and Karl Anthony-Towns, when he returns, more opportunities to score. 

The Jazz were looking to drop a lot of cap space quickly, allowing them to build around new star in Lauri Markanean with a lot of cap room going into the offseason. They are also competing for the playoffs and Westbrook will add a veteran presence to the locker room. They have built up a plethora of picks, allowing them to continue to build up their team for the next five years.

Some other trades that will have some impact include Saddiq Bey to the Hawks, James Wisemen to the Pistons, and the Warriors got back Gary Payton II. Thomas Bryant was traded to the Nuggets, Bones Hyland was traded to the Clippers, and Mo Bamba was traded to the Lakers.