This Nets-Nuggets Trade Pairs Nikola Jokic, Kyrie Irving

nbaanalysis.net 12 days ago
Nikola Jokic, Kyrie Irving, Denver Nuggets, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Sometimes, an NBA team just needs to trade a player. There can be plenty of factors that create such a situation.

It could be due to off-court trouble. If a player is creating conflict in the locker room, that can be grounds for moving him no matter how talented he is.

Of course, it could be that they’re prone to injury. The best basketball players in the world can’t help their teams if they’re unable to stay on the floor on a routine basis.

With that said, trading such players can be difficult, especially for a fair return. After all, why would other teams be interested in inheriting a team’s problems?

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If you’re eager to stop rostering a player, why would another team be eager to bring them on? Unless, of course, you’re simply swapping problems.

Here’s a trade that has the Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets doing exactly that.

Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn Nets, NBA trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network
Brooklyn Nets Receive: F Michael Porter Jr.
Denver Nuggets Receive: G Kyrie Irving

In case you’re struggling to put the pieces together here, yes, we were referring to Kyrie Irving and Michael Porter Jr. in the last slide.

By now, the word is out on Irving. Any team that rosters him runs the risk of tanking their team chemistry. It’s unfortunate, but it’s reality – trouble seems to follow Irving wherever he goes.

On the other hand, Porter Jr. just can’t seem to get healthy. The same back problems that caused his draft stock to plummet a few years ago are now haunting him at the professional level. As sad as it is to say, they could plague him for the rest of his career.

In other words, both of these teams would be incurring risk here. The Nuggets could be trading for a player who eventually blows the organization to bits.

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The Nets could be trading for a player who’s never quite able to give them regular contributions. Can they afford to take that risk?

Brooklyn Nets
NBA Analysis Network

Why The Brooklyn Nets Do The Deal

The most convincing case for the Brooklyn Nets here is the opportunity to pair Ben Simmons with Michael Porter Jr.

Ironically, they both suffer from chronic injury. On the other hand, if they could both get healthy, they should make for a fantastic duo. Their skill sets are perfectly complementary.

After all, we know Simmons needs floor-spacing as a non-shooting lead ball-handler. Meanwhile, Porter Jr. is one of the best shooting wing/forwards in the NBA. His ability to shoot off the catch or dribble will maximize the space around Simmons in half-court sets.

On the other end of the floor, Porter Jr. has been a defensive liability throughout his brief NBA career so far. By contrast, Simmons is one of the best defensive players in the NBA. His presence will offset Porter’s limitations in terms of point prevention.

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Furthermore, they’re both on the same timeline: Simmons is 26, and Porter Jr. is 24. That gives the Nets a head start on a rebuild if they do end up honoring Kevin Durant’s trade request – and a viable replacement for KD in MPJ at the same time.

Denver Nuggets
NBA Analysis Network

Why The Denver Nuggets Do The Deal

Somehow, it feels like the Denver Nuggets take the bigger risk here. Michael Porter Jr.’s back troubles are out of his control. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving could be less of a problem but seems to actively choose not to be.

At the same time, they stand to reap a greater reward. For all the valid criticisms to make about Irving, you can’t knock his game. He’s one of the most talented players in the history of the sport.

Furthermore, the Nuggets are uniquely built to play to his strengths. Most teams would hesitate to put Irving in the same backcourt as the similar scoring-minded Jamal Murray. With that said, most teams don’t have Nikola Jokic.

He’s probably the best passing big man in NBA history. With his advanced playmaking, a Nuggets team with two elite scorers in its backcourt ought to be one of the very best offenses in the NBA.

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There’s no telling how far this squad could go – if Kyrie Irving is willing to suit up, of course.