Brooklyn Nets fall as 2022 NBA trade deadline ends


Erik Drost

Irving has played 11 years in the Nation Basketball Association and recorded a 23.3 career PPG (points per game). While playing four seasons in Brooklyn, Irving only played 143 games due to injuries and suspensions.

Colin Crane, Staff Writer

In any sport, superteams are a scary sight for opponents. It’s hard enough to beat one superstar, but beating two or three on one team is almost impossible. While superteams sound like a great idea that will bring success to whatever team the stars are on, they don’t always work out. Take the Brooklyn Nets, for example. 

In the past four years, the Brooklyn Nets have acquired superstars Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, James Harden and Ben Simmons. While not all four players were on the Nets at the same time, Irving and Durant have played together in Brooklyn since 2019. In 2021, the Nets acquired James Harden in a three-team trade with the Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nets traded center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince to Cleveland and sent guard Caris Levert and forward Rodions Kurucs, along with three first round picks and four first round pick swaps, to the Houston Rockets. 

The big three of Harden, Durant and Irving posed a threat to not just the Eastern Conference, but the whole league. They were championship favorites and it seemed as though no team would be able to stop them. 

However, the big three did not live up to these expectations. They would end with a record of 48-24, giving them the second seed in the East. While they did beat the Boston Celtics in the first round, they would end up losing in the conference semifinals to the Milwaukee Bucks. This would ultimately start the downfall of this historic franchise. 

While Harden had played on the nets with Durant and Irving for two seasons, the three only played 16 out of 113 games together. They went 13-3 over this period and the team looked extremely promising when all three players were present. After not finding any success, the team felt as if they needed to trade one of their star players. 

Before the 2022 trade deadline, the Nets would end up sending James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers. The deal would send 10-time All-Star James Harden and forward Paul Millsap to Philadelphia in exchange for Ben Simmons, Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and two first round picks. 

Simmons, a former first overall pick, found little success in Philadelphia before the trade to Brooklyn. Many fans of the NBA called him a draft bust for his lack of performance on the court. Simmons was supposed to be the piece that would turn the 76ers’ franchise around. NBA draft analysts even compared him to NBA legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson because of his height and playstyle. However, after not finding his place in Philadelphia, he thought it was best to move on. 

Fast forward to the 2022-2023 season, things got even worse for Brooklyn. Irving would end up requesting a trade from the Nets before the end of the trade deadline. The Nets would send all-star guard Irving and forward Markieff Morris to the Dallas Mavericks in return for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith, a first round pick and two second round picks. A few days later, an unexpected four-team trade would send superstar forward Durant to the Phoenix Suns. The Nets would receive Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, four first round picks and a first round pick swap from Phoenix in exchange for Durant and TJ Warren.

 In addition, Brooklyn also received two second round picks from the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks acquired Jae Crowder from the Suns and the Indiana Pacers, the last team in the trade, took three players into their cap space and also received three second round picks.