Nets Notes: Simmons, Thomas, Duke, Free Agency

Though his two All-Star Nets colleagues Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving could very well be on the move this summer, a trade for injured All-Defensive Team Brooklyn guard Ben Simmons remains very unlikely, Brooklyn sources inform Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

Simmons missed the entire 2021/22 season due to mental health issues and a back injury that required surgery. Sources tell Lewis, who notes that Simmons is on track to rejoin Brooklyn in time for the team’s training camp this fall, that the former No. 1 overall pick has little trade value at present. The three-time All-Star, still just 25, holds career averages of 15.9 PPG, 8.1 RPG, and 7.7 APG.

There’s more out of Brooklyn:

  • Several teams have contacted the Nets about potential deals for second-year player Cam Thomas, Lewis writes in another story for the New York Post. According to Lewis, a Thomas trade may fetch a first-round draft pick for Brooklyn, should the team want to move off the 20-year-old shooting guard. Across 67 games with the Nets, Thomas averaged 8.5 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.5 APG in just 17.6 MPG.
  • After going undrafted in 2021 out of Providence, point guard David Duke Jr. impressed the Nets on a two-way deal. This summer, he has thus far passed on an offer from Brooklyn for a second two-way contract (presumably the standard two-way QO that includes a $50K partial guarantee) in the hopes of instead being signed to a standard deal to join the team’s 15-man roster, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post“Well, you know, I’m always going to strive for the most that I can get, right?” Duke said of his reasoning. “So if there’s a roster spot to strive for that, then whatever happens from there, happens… But like I said, I’m just out here [in Summer League] trying to play the best that I can, show what I can bring to Brooklyn, to whoever.”
  • The Nets are thus far the biggest losers in free agency this year, opines Kevin Pelton of ESPN (YouTube link). That issue may have more to do with the team’s top stars potentially wanting to be traded off the team more so than its fairly minimal free agent signings. “No matter how this Durant situation plays out, even if they’re able to retain him… still you’re going to have Kyrie Irving’s situation hanging over their entire season,” Pelton said. “And it’s also kind of affected their ability to make moves so far this offseason,” Pelton added. While Pelton applauded their low-risk signing of T.J. Warren to a one-year contract, he was less enthused about another big Brooklyn transaction. “[I] wasn’t a big fan of their trade to send a first-round pick to Utah for Royce O’Neale. People are going to describe O’Neale as a 3-and-D player, but the defense part of that equation has been lacking the last couple of seasons.”
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