Thu. Jul 25th, 2024


The Brooklyn Nets completed a massive overhaul of the franchise’s roster, trading their best player, Mikal Bridges, to the New York Knicks, sources told ESPN on Tuesday, and landing a deal with the Houston Rockets to return the franchise’s first-round picks lost in the James Harden trade.

After teetering in the post-Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving windows between pursuing the playoffs and the draft lottery, the Nets declared a direction and suddenly have 16 first-round picks available through 2031, including four selections in the starry 2025 NBA draft.

The Nets were listening to offers from several teams on Bridges, but his desire to play with his three former Villanova teammates on a championship contender — and the Knicks’ confidence they could keep him long term — gave New York the confidence to finally unload its array of draft picks into a major trade, sources said.

Nets general manager Sean Marks and Knicks president Leon Rose escalated discussions quickly Tuesday afternoon and evening, and New York ultimately overwhelmed the marketplace with four unprotected first-rounders (2025, 2027, 2029 and 2031), a protected 2025 first-round pick via the Milwaukee Bucks, the Knicks’ unprotected 2028 pick swap and a 2025 Brooklyn second-round selection, sources said.

Almost simultaneously, the Nets were engaged in talks with Houston on getting back the franchise’s 2025 and 2026 first-round picks for Phoenix‘s 2025 and 2027 and a chance to receive the 2029 first-round pick as part of a swap if it’s the most favorable of the Dallas, Houston and Phoenix firsts.

The Rockets position themselves to be aggressive in future trade scenarios with the Suns should that franchise need to disassemble. For now, the Suns plan to keep trying to win with Durant and Devin Booker. But the Rockets acquiring those Phoenix picks gives them an inside track on a possible deal should a Suns star — particularly Booker, who is 27 years old and on the Rockets’ timeline — become available. Durant could become a possibility too.

Once the Nets committed to the Bridges trade, it only made sense to pursue the picks they offered in the Harden deal. This way, the Nets can finish toward the bottom of the standings knowing they’ll be rewarded with a chance to draft one of the class of 2025’s stars — Ace Bailey, Cooper Flagg and Dylan Harper, among them.

The Nets had pursued star-level players to pair with Bridges, but they didn’t become available to them, and Brooklyn ultimately found itself with several teams, including Memphis and Utah, willing to offer significant draft packages for Bridges early this week, sources said. Yet New York had been constructing an arsenal of assets and had nine first-round picks available for deals — and Rose overwhelmed the Nets to complete the first trade between the two teams since 1983.

The Nets could have more trades for assets on draft day Wednesday, sources said, and those 16 first-round picks could grow if Brooklyn finds a deal for Cam Johnson. The Nets have delivered themselves a full-fledged rebuild, beginning with the Knicks’ unrelenting pursuit to land Bridges on Tuesday.




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#Sources #Knicks #trade #Mikal #Bridges #Nets #load #picks

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