Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James walk into Barclays Center. If LeBron ever forced his way to Brooklyn through a trade, the temperament that sounds like a bad dad joke could become a dream come true when “The King” said he wanted a chance with the two Nets stars on social media.
Dreaming on NBA 2K22 is fun, simulation is even more fun. In fact, the cost of doing business with the Lakers is too high for the Nets.
And it’s not realistic.
A trade involving LeBron would mark a massive defeat for the all-out Lakers four years ago, paving the way for the team to win an NBA championship in the 2020 Orlando bubble.
As bad as the Lakers last season — they failed to qualify for the playoffs and their roster is led by three future Hall of Famers — all signs point to Russell Westbrook leaving the team is far more likely than a deal involving LeBron.
But it’s also fun to think about.
The King answered Nets fans a reason for a dream in a tweet asking which teammate (past or present) he would like to have on his team in a hypothetical two-on-two against Bulls legend Michael Jordan. and Scottie Pippen in his prime. He gave three answerss: The late great Kobe Bryant, Irving and Durant.LeBron’s son Bryce was also recently spotted Wearing a Kevin Durant jersey.
Ignite the rumor mill.
So what does the Nets need to bring in LeBron this offseason? Ben Simmons, who has three years left on his contract worth about $114 million.
Simmons’ unique size, athleticism and playmaking ability rivaled that of LeBron, so much so that his early NBA nickname was “The Prince.” However, Simmons is not LeBron. Not far. Being a solid jump shooter fuels LeBron’s game. Simmons, meanwhile, is still struggling to create a personal offense, just had back surgery and hasn’t played in the NBA in over a year.
So what about the sweetener of the deal? Nets’ two picks from Philadelphia in James Harden trade — Philly’s first-round picks this year or next, and their top eight protected picks in 2027 — Cam Thomas, excellent The salary of second-year guard and sharpshooter Seth Curry is matched. The Lakers could use the trade exception in the Marc Gasol trade to absorb Thomas’ rookie salary.
Given Simmons’ limited history, the Nets may need another trade sweetener: their next available 2028 first-round pick. The pick was the most valuable part of the deal after Simmons. That’s three draft levels after Durant’s contract expires in 2026, meaning the pick is more likely to make it to the lottery.
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This is the best offer from the Nets. Simmons, Curry, Thomas, Philadelphia picks and their own 2028 first-round pick. They could add top-three or top-four protection to their 2028 draft pick, but that’s the cost of doing business. If the Nets want to add LeBron to a team that already has Durant and Irving, they will have to pay dearly.
This what-if scenario also assumes that LeBron wants to be in Brooklyn first.
Imagine what that would be like.
LeBron will take the point guard position, keeping Irving away from the ball as his natural role as a total scorer. Durant will play that forward position and is equally capable of creating his own shot from the high post or launching offense and bringing the ball to the floor. The Nets still have Joe Harris under contract and Nick Clarkston is a restricted free agent, meaning the Nets reserve the right to match any offers he receives during the offseason.
It’s a tough starting five, and if Patty Mills opts in, you’ll still have him off the bench.
However, it is worth noting that James is 37 years old and is about to enter the final year of his contract. If you think age will slow him down, you’re only half right. James averaged 30 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal and 1 block per game in Los Angeles last season, but in the third year of four seasons with the Lakers, injuries limited him to just a few minutes. to 60 games.
Is putting LeBron, Durant and Kyrie on the same team worth further mortgage on the team’s future? LeBron happens to think he and any of the Nets stars can beat top Jordan and Scottie Pippen. If you put him and both of them on the floor, there’s no telling what the Nets can win in a season…and beyond.