The NBA isn’t a hard game to figure out. Recruit the best and most valuable stars on your team and you win. The Nets have their chance to add a third star and they need to do everything in their power to do it. Brooklyn Needs to pull the trigger on a James Harden trade.
Historically, it’s almost impossible to give up too much for a superstar. The Heat didn’t give up too much for Shaq. The Lakers didn’t give up too much for Anthony Davis. The Celtics didn’t give up too much for Kevin Garnett. If you get the best player in the deal, it’s virtually impossible to lose the trade in the NBA.
Should the Nets go all-in on Harden? Is water wet? DUH… of course, they should. Whether it’s Harden or Bradley Beal, Brooklyn needs to do everything in their power to land a third star.
The rumor is that Brooklyn would have to part with Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince to land Harden. Okay… the problem with that is? The truth of the matter is, Brooklyn can’t afford to keep those guys long term anyway. All of those players will require raises and a number of them will have to walk because they already have so much financial capital committed to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
All of those players minus LeVert are in the final year of their contract anyway. Would you rather cash them in for a third star, let them walk, or potentially get hard-capped giving someone like Dinwiddie $22 million? This shouldn’t even be a discussion. You give those guys up 100 times out of 100.
The fact of the matter is landing stars is the hard part. Nobody wants to play for Sacramento, Oklahoma City, or Detroit. When you have a chance to acquire a star, you do it. 75 percent of the franchises in the NBA don’t have the ability to acquire them.
Sure, losing your bench feels like a tall task. However, replacing bench pieces is easier to do when you have the stars in place. All of the sudden, someone like a Danilo Gallinari could take less to win a ring. It’s happened before with Andre Igoudala and David West.
Brooklyn could re-sign Joe Harris. They own his bird rights. Could someone like Paul Millsap take a mid-level to win a ring? We forget that nobody has cap space this offseason. Let’s say you’re Serge Ibaka. Do you want $15 million to play for the Knicks or $6 to play with this Brooklyn team? I find it hard to believe they wouldn’t fish someone valuable with the mid-level.
Brooklyn also has all of their first round picks. This isn’t a Clippers situation where they dumped all of their picks for Paul George. Brooklyn has draft picks to wheel and deal for instant upgrades. They already made such a trade moving a 2nd round pick for Bruce Brown. Replacing someone like Dinwiddie can be done. Finding stars like Harden is hard. They don’t grow on trees.
Harden has a ton of flaws. I’m not going to deny that. Sometimes he disappears. Sometimes he gives away too much of his money at the strip club. Sometimes he has a lack of self awareness and picks the wrong teammates. Don’t tell me you can’t win with James Harden.
Harden has his issues, but this is the same guy who took arguably the best team ever (Durant led Warriors) to 7 games. In fact, Houston wins that series with a healthy Chris Paul. This isn’t a Russell Westbrook or Blake Griffin situation. Harden can score at all 3 levels and gets to the free throw line frequently. Westbrook can’t shoot but shoots anyway. He doesn’t work in the modern NBA.
Sure, Harden and Irving are guys who like to dominate the ball. They also aren’t defensive monsters either. At the end of the day, this is still a team led by the slim reaper. Harden accepted a backseat to Durant in Oklahoma City. Why can’t he do it again with Brooklyn? The chemistry concerns are there but at the end of the day, Harden and Irving can have their share. As long as they recognize it’s Durant’s ball with the game on the line.
Brooklyn already sold it’s soul to Lucifer when they signed Kyrie. There’s no room for halfway crooks. You’re either all in or all the way out. If you have the chance to add more star power to this mix, you do it and don’t look back. This is what Brooklyn wanted. You don’t sign Kyrie if you have reservations about adding another star.
At the end of the day, none of it matters if we’re getting a subpar Durant. If the old slim reaper comes out to play, Brooklyn will be dangerous either way. Harden and Irving can easily buy in if Durant is back to his old ways. He’s still the best player in the NBA when healthy.
Durant is also a naturally unselfish player. When Durant was in Golden State, there were no issues. Mostly because all of them can shoot. When you kick it outside and see Westbrook wide open for 3 and know he’s going to shoot it, then there are problems. Floor spacing isn’t an issue here. Durant, Irving, and Harden are all lethal shooters.
I don’t see the argument that Harden won’t buy in. Look, maybe you’re right but he’s also night and day different from his OKC days. Mike D’Antoni wants a dominant ball handler. Oddly enough he’s on the staff in Brooklyn. However, I think there’s a chance Steve Nash runs a much more fluid offense. Nash spent a good chunk of time in Golden State. It’s hard not to trust someone with the basketball acumen of Nash to figure it out.
The name of the game in the NBA is about adding stars. You don’t hesitate to give up Josh Richardson when you can add Jimmy Butler. If the Nets have the opportunity to acquire Harden, they should pull the trigger every day of the week.