While the Brooklyn Nets were initially tied to the Portland Trail Blazers because of their pursuit of Damian Lillard, the ambitious Eastern Conference franchise could be headed toward a trade for Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro, helping facilitate a trade that would position the seven-time All-NBA selection with their preferred trade destination.
Although the parameters of what such a trade would look like are still a bit hazy, with Herro landing in Brooklyn and Lillard in Miami, the Blazers would get multiple first-round picks and at least one promising young player. Here’s an example:
Nets Acquired: Tyler Herro, Anfernie Simmons
Heat Receive: Damian Lillard, Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neal
Blazers acquire: Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, Dorian Finney-Smith, Noah Clowney, Nikola Jovic, Cam Thomas, 2027 first-round pick (via MIA), 2027 first-round pick (via BRK), 2027 first-round pick (via BRK), 2030 first-round pick (via MIA)
Of course, it is easier to make deals in theory than in practice, as teams prefer to try to hit a home run in a deal rather than settle for a single or double. Still, the fact remains that if the Nets are able to make this type of trade, they have a better chance of excelling in the 2023-24 season than they do now.
tyler the hero to the rescue
The best skill Tyler Herro possesses at this stage of his career is his perimeter shooting, as the former lottery pick has made 38.3 percent of his 3-point attempts over the past four seasons, with 44.1 percent of his shots coming from deep. Largely a catch-and-shoot performer when he gets opportunities from 3-point range, assisting on 72.5 percent of his 3-point attempts, Herro is proficient from everywhere around the arc.
For the Brooklyn Nets, who shot only 35.0 percent from 3-point range after the All-Star break due to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving trades, Herro’s addition allows them to recapture their previous 3-point efficiency. Of course, Herro won’t be able to do it all alone, as Durant and Irving both shot over 37 percent from 3 last season. However, he can often make up for at least one of their absences when it comes to outdoor shooting.
While Herro is truly a 3-point specialist, he is still a volume scorer; A fluid athlete and ball-handler who is able to consistently create shots for himself off the dribble. As a result, Herro has averaged 20.4 points per game over the past two seasons, while shooting 44.3 percent from the field, 38.7 percent from 3 and 89.8 percent from the free-throw line for good measure.
Breakout star Mikal Bridges averaged 26.1 points per game for the Nets last season, but to be honest, there’s no guarantee the former Villanova standout will keep it up. After all, Bridges averaged a career high 17.2 points per game before the trade, after averaging 13.8 points per game the previous two seasons. At Nova, Bridges averaged a career-high 17.7 points per game. With a first option drawing even more defensive attention on scouting reports, it might be wise to lower expectations a bit as he enters his sixth season.
That said, even if Bridges were to repeat his production from the previous season, he was the only Nets player to average at least 17 points per game after the trade deadline. a fact that amplifies the need for Brooklyn to complete a trade for him.
If the Nets are serious in their belief in Ben Simmons being an integral part of their team and returning to star form, logic dictates that they need to keep as many upper-level shooters as possible. It’s a question of what position the Nets will play Simmons after using him in a variety of roles last season, but given the fact that his passing ability remains his best offensive ability, a return to point guard shouldn’t be ruled out.
If that happens, combo guard Anfernie Simmons could still play alongside him in the backcourt.
6MOY EFFERNIE SIMMONS?
While Effernie Simmons could start, playing long with the starting players running the second unit would put him in a familiar super-sub role that allows him to come in for Simmons or even Nick Claxton if Brooklyn chooses to play small.
The skilled shot-creator and playmaker, who averaged 21.1 points per game last season, has only been held back by his weak defense, a weakness that could prevent him from playing alongside Tyler Herro for significant stretches. Still, expect Simmons to make a substantial impact on the Nets’ attack. 20th in the league He averaged 113.4 points per game last season, and his offensive scoring mentality may be needed to complement the true point guard mentality possessed by Ben Simmons.
Frankly, Simmons has all the talent needed to be a Sixth Man of the Year candidate, if not a finalist, next season. Especially if Simmons struggles.