The Brooklyn Nets have had a mixed season this year. On the one hand, they managed to acquire James Harden, and form a fearsome big three. On the other hand, they still failed to win the 2020-21 championship, with the big reason being injuries.
A recent report by Matt Sullivan suggested that the Brooklyn Nets were "upset" with Kyrie Irving's absence during the regular season, and proceeded to claim that there is a chance that Nets GM Sean Marks would potentially listen to offers on Kyrie Irving during this offseason.
A player that could be of interest to the Brooklyn Nets is Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. Damian Lillard has lost in the first round yet again against the Denver Nuggets, and perhaps he is in need of a change of scenery. Lillard is a loyal player, so obviously he'd have to put in a trade request for the Trail Blazers to consider moving him. Here's a potential package:
Brooklyn Nets Receive: Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers Receive: Kyrie Irving, Bruce Brown
Portland Trail Blazers Get A Star Caliber Player For Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard is one of the best point guards in the NBA. He averaged an astounding 34.3 PPG and 10.2 APG in the Trail Blazers' first-round defeat against the Denver Nuggets. Most franchises that wanted to trade for Damian Lillard would have to give up a lot of young players and picks, in order to help the Trail Blazers compete in the future.
However, the Brooklyn Nets could be able to beat those offers by offering an established star in the league, one that some people view as being at a similar level to Damian Lillard. While Kyrie Irving is sometimes viewed as the third option on the Brooklyn Nets, he still had a spectacular regular season where he also joined the 50/40/90 club. Irving put up 26.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG, and 6.0 APG during the regular season. He has shown to be capable of scoring in bunches, and would potentially be able to carry the Portland offense similar to Lillard.
Of course, the Portland Trail Blazers won't do a one-for-one swap just because the option is available. The Brooklyn Nets would likely throw in Bruce Brown, a young player who has shown to be capable of finishing at the rim and playing good defense. There would have to be a lot of pre-requisites for the trade to actually happen, but a swap of the two stars is not impossible.
The Brooklyn Nets Move On From Kyrie Irving
If Sullivan's report is correct, then it is possible that the Brooklyn Nets could be open to moving Kyrie Irving this summer due to their disapproval of his behavior off the court. If that does happen, the Trail Blazers would be a perfect trade partner if Lillard is interested in joining the Brooklyn Nets superteam, as he has stated his aversion to superteams in his past.
If the Nets were to acquire Lillard, it would mean that they would get a star-level (perhaps even MVP-level) replacement for Kyrie Irving, adding to their list of stars with offensive firepower and shot creation. While Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant are close friends, it is possible that the Brooklyn Nets would make this move if it felt like it would increase their chances of winning a championship.
There is no question that a trio of Damian Lillard, James Harden, and Kevin Durant should be able to win the title bar any serious injuries. They would have three players on the roster who are able to carry a team's offense all by themselves, as well as solid enough role players if they manage to bring back some of their players who are slated to become free agents, like Blake Griffin. Overall, if the Brooklyn Nets become deadset on moving on from Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard would be an amazing replacement option.