This upcoming season is becoming known as a redemption season for some teams like the Golden State Warriors and even the Miami Heat, but it is also the season where we see the return of Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets are a major contender for the Eastern Conference crown next season because they have former MVP Kevin Durant coming back from an injury to join former NBA champion and All-Star Kyrie Irving. The Nets are a legitimate contender and nobody wants to play them in the Playoffs.
What is even more exciting is that there are rumors that James Harden to Brooklyn is gaining traction which encourages fans to remember the 2012 squad that made it all the way to the NBA Finals. The OKC Thunder were supposed to win an NBA title with the likes of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka on the team. They came close, but it ultimately didn't happen as Harden was traded to Houston and Durant later left to join the Warriors. Now, what if the Nets could bring the band together once again and win the NBA title? Here is how the Brooklyn Nets can recreate the 2012 Oklahoma City Finals squad by acquiring James Harden and Serge Ibaka.
Brooklyn Acquire James Harden Via Blockbuster Deal And Sign Serge Ibaka
Trade Package: Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince, No. 19 overall pick for James Harden
Sign Serge Ibaka Via Free Agency
Kevin Durant alone is a superstar because he can drop 30 points in his sleep. KD with the Thunder was a beast and the main reason why he led them to the 2012 NBA Finals at such a young age. Russell Westbrook and James Harden were exceptional teammates of his, but they didn't quite give him the help he needed. James Harden wasn't the superstar we know today, and Russell Westbrook was too out of control. KD needed more steady performers to help him defeat the mighty Miami Heat. But what if Brooklyn can add this current version of James Harden to the mix? We are looking at the most unstoppable offensive ever and they will probably win 2-3 rings in a row if it happens.
James Harden is the best scorer in the NBA by a margin. The Beard is also on a franchise without a clear direction at the moment and should not waste his prime years in an uncertain situation. The Rockets could do a lot worse than adding some fringe All-Star talents in Dinwiddie, LeVert, and Allen with the No.19 overall pick and Taurean Prince for a rebuild. Harden with former teammate Kevin Durant and All-Star Kyrie Irving makes the Nets a top-3 contender in the world and there is no doubt about that.
To get Serge Ibaka, they need to offer him a contract he would accept. Ibaka had a great season averaging 15.4 PPG and 8.2 RPG and is looking for the best contract he can get in terms of money and playing for a contender. Ibaka and Durant were buddies during their OKC days and that hasn't changed, so Ibaka would be welcomed with open arms. With James Harden on the squad and Serge Ibaka joining in Free Agency, the Nets have the core of the OKC Thunder in place. The only player missing is Russell Westbrook, who will be replaced by Kyrie Irving.
The Nets Re-Create A Better Version With Kyrie Irving
The Nets with Durant, Ibaka, and Harden are crazy good. Instead of Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving will take the point guard spot. Irving is a superstar scorer and a much better for alongside Durant than Westbrook. Westbrook is a triple-double machine and a very athletic scorer from the inside, but he lacks Irving's shooting ability which was a major factor why the pairing of Durant and Westbrook didn't quite work out.
Irving's ability to create his own shot and even nail shots from the perimeter will make the OKC Recreation Team much more dominant than the one with Russ. Irving averaged 27.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 6.4 RPG, and shot 47.8% from the field. While his numbers are as good as Russ, Irving's ability to shoot the ball is much more important when you have Kevin Durant. Kyrie Irving also has played and won in an NBA Finals, and so has Durant, so the former knows how to play at a steady pace and be efficient enough in the biggest moments. We have yet to see that from Russell Westbrook.
Overall, this Nets team would be better than the 2012 Finals team by a mile. James Harden will join the team as the best isolation scorer while KD takes his place as the leader and overall best player. Irving replaces Westbrook as the high-octane flashy scorer and Serge Ibaka completes a lineup that will certainly win it all this upcoming season.