After ending their three-year playoff drought in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Brooklyn Nets are expected to be more aggressive in building a roster that can legitimately contend for an NBA championship in the 2019 NBA offseason. After sending Allen Crabbe and his $18.5 million contract to the Atlanta Hawks, the Nets put themselves in a strong position to go after two big names in the 2019 NBA free agency. When the Hawks-Nets deal was reported, rumors and speculation started to heat up that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant would be leaving their respective teams as free agents to team up in Brooklyn.
The tandem of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant would undeniably make the Nets a team to fear in the Eastern Conference in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, according to Zach Rosenblatt of NJ.com, the Nets could also take the trade route to further improve their roster. Rosenblatt suggested that the Nets could agree to a sign-and-trade deal with D’Angelo Russell and use him as the main trade chip to acquire All-Star center Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans.
“Agree to a sign-and-trade with D’Angelo Russell for around $25 million in 2019-20 (on a 4 or 5-year deal), and package him with Jarrett Allen, Dzanan Musa and the Nuggets’ first-round pick (No. 27) in exchange for Anthony Davis, Christian Wood and Kenrich Williams. Russell might be willing to sign this because he can sign for more money with the Nets than any other team. Before cutting any non-guaranteed deals, this puts Brooklyn at $39.9 million in cap space.”
Rumor: Pelicans’ top target in Anthony Davis trade is Jayson Tatum https://t.co/Og7T2DWyhr— Kurt Helin (@basketballtalk) June 8, 2019
In the proposed trade deal by NJ.com, the Nets would be sending D’Angelo Russell, Jarrett Allen, Dzanan Musa, and the No. 27 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft to the Pelicans in exchange for Anthony Davis, Christian Wood, and Kenrich Williams. If the trade becomes a reality, it would benefit both the Nets and the Pelicans.
Anthony Davis is no doubt worth giving up the likes of D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen. Davis would tremendously improve the Nets’ performance on both ends of the floor, giving them an All-Star caliber big man who could efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc. This season, the 26-year-old center/power forward averaged 25.9 points, 12.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.4 blocks, and 1.6 steals on 51.7 percent shooting from the field, and 33.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
The dream scenario for the Nets is to build a “Big Three” of Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving this summer. Acquiring those three superstars in the 2019 NBA offseason would make the Nets a favorite to dominate the Eastern Conference and bring home the Larry O’Brien Trophy in the 2019-20 NBA season.
Meanwhile, in exchange for Anthony Davis, the Pelicans would be acquiring two young and promising players in D’Angelo Russell and Jarrett Allen, who could help them remain competitive in the Western Conference next season. If Russell, Allen, Jrue Holiday, and Zion Williamson grow together and build good chemistry, the Pelicans have a chance of becoming a legitimate title contender in the near future.