Basketball players are human and as someone who had moved to another city for a job twice as an adult, I understand more goes into it than money and how good the destination organization is. Perhaps there are family (Kawhi Leonard to LA) or other personal preferences that play into a decision and there's nothing wrong with that. That said, the way this should shake out based on what is best for the individual players themselves should go something like the following which sets the Nets up for ... Draymond Green. And there's nothing wrong with that.
NOTE: Of course even despite his recent arrest, the Nets should not play a game of chicken with D'Angelo Russell. Brooklyn's Beat did a nice job of covering this so I won't restate it all: https://www.netsdaily.com/2019/4/28/18521392/brooklyns-beat-the-dangers-of-playing-brinksmanship-with-dlo
From a purely basketball standpoint, the first domino to fall in the 2019 NBA off-season will be Kevin Durant (unless you count Allen Crabbe opting in). After his comments about how fun life is right now (aka being up 2-0 in the playoffs against probably the second best team in the league), there was some good points made by members of the media including Colin Cowherd who deserves some credit for highlighting KD's "fun" comments. Durant has a player option for next season, and though it is possible for Durant to opt in, as the most talented player in the NBA right now (though Harden winning 4 of the last 5 in this series, or LeBron next year could retake it), it makes more sense for the 30 year old to make a more intermediate term decision now because Klay Thompson is also an unrestricted free agent. If Klay (more on him later) was still under contract for one more year, the Warriors might as well bring the band back together and go for either a 4th straight title if they win this year or at the very least a third in four years with Steph Curry and Green still in the fold.
if the Nets can get Durant, that is obviously the best case scenario for Brooklyn and not a terrible option for KD himself because they made the playoffs and have players who complement him very well. Their only starter who is not a shooter is Jarrett Allen who is still young and will continue to become a better jump shooter, and it will always be ok to have one guy on the court who is not lethal from downtown. So the Nets closing games with Durant, and some combo of D'Lo, Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie, Allen, and Joe Harris is enough to possibly reach the Eastern Conference Finals with no other changes outside of internal development. KD not being able to score (at times) in Game 4 against P.J. Tucker and James Harden as the 4/5 for the Rockets is concerning, he's no Larry Bird in that aspect yet, but GOAT potential still exists to some degree.
Durant going to the Knicks as been reported as a foregone conclusion is the highest risk-reward from a legacy standpoint. If Kyrie (expected to join him) gets hurt and the lottery pick doesn't work out right away, the Knicks could miss the playoffs and KD will immediately be brought back into the same category as LeBron James. Even a first round exit in the less deep East could have the same negative consequence to KD's legacy. Of course if everything works perfectly, the Knicks could make the second round of the playoffs mostly due to Durant's greatness. If they somehow won a title, he would reach a level of basketball stardom only ever reach by Michael Jordan bringing the Bulls their first title per the market size, fan base suffering, etc.
With his hometown Wizards a mess, the only other East team with a ton of cap space is Atlanta which is not a terrible option for him, either. The Hawks got a lot better during the second half of the season and with just one true rebuild year are a year behind the Nets, so it would make more sense to go to Brooklyn than Atlanta. Boston and Golden State probably wouldn't do a sign and trade barring something bizarre and could you really see him in Detroit or Chicago, no. So that leads us back out West.
And if you are out West, going to the Lakers is always possible, but if you are trying to differentiate yourself from LeBron and his circus, makes no sense to do that. The Suns have cap space and a better roster than the Knicks, but even worse ownership. The Clippers are an intriguing option because they outperformed all expectations and likely will add Kawhi Leonard. So if I was to go anywhere in the West it would be the Clippers who also are starving for their first Finals appearance since moving to the city of Angels. But why would you go there when you could continue with the Warriors who have the better team and already are boosting your legacy with every win? So I think KD should stay with the Golden State, soon to be San Francisco Warriors with the Clippers and Nets as the 2a. and 2b. So the Nets probably won't get KD, he should go back to Golden State.
So the next domino to fall is Kawhi Leonard, 27 years old, who either will end up a Clipper or remain in Toronto if they comeback from a 2-1 deficit against Philadelphia. With Siakam and some good role players, there's a path to more finals appearances. That said, Leonard's group has wanted to go to LA from everything we do know, and if they wanted any part of the Knicks, that hype train would have left the station a long time ago.
Next up is New Jersey native Kyrie Irving. Kyrie is a #2 option on a championship team at worst at age 27, and could stay a Celtic depending on what happens this playoffs team-wise and/or individually. If he leaves, the Knicks, Clippers, and even Lakers are all in play. The Nets are in play, but I don't see a reason to risk fragmenting the team chemistry by effectively swapping Kyrie and D-Lo, while paying the older Kyrie more money. So whether Irving end up a Celtic, Knick, or Laker has little impact on the Nets from a personnel standpoint. At this point, we can start thinking about what will happen with Anthony Davis because the Celtics need to see what happens with Kyrie first.
28 year old Kemba Walker is next and again it makes no sense for the Nets to lose D-Lo and add Kemba for the same reasons as Kyrie. Walker should build his legacy in Charlotte or tag on to Leonard in LA. Depending on how the other chips fall, he'd be a great sidekick to KD or even Irving in Manhattan OR possibly even LeBron. I like Kemba and he deserves a shot at a championship OR at the very least his jersey hanging in the rafters at the Hive.
Next up is Klay Thompson (29), who would be an upgrade for ANY team in the NBA because he can be effective without dribbling and is a first team all-NBA level defender. When you talk 3 and D players, this is the best of the best. So he could elect to build his own legacy outside of the Curry/Durant shadow, but if he goes to either LA team is going to be second fiddle again. I'd gladly take him on the Nets, but if he's going to make a bold move, that move should be the boldest of them all, the Knicks OR Atlanta. The Hawks are the opposite of the Nets, loaded at the stretch four/five spot but lacking a two-guard. Atlanta as a city continues to grow and bringing them their first championship (the last one for the franchise was in St. Louis) would surely give him a chance at the Hall of Fame, if he doesn't have a chance already. Personally, I'd stay with the Warriors because if you could win four of five titles if not more, that vaults you into the second greatest dynasty in NBA history behind the Celtics, or at least in a heads up debate with the 1990s Bulls. With all the internal strife, Golden State still got the number one seed. Though now that series is tied 2-2.
Kristaps Porzingis is next and should stay in Dallas or else why else make that trade.
Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler (player option) are free agents, but do they pay them? Rumors that they could trade Embiid is ludacris, because other than the injury risk for a 7 footer, do you really think Harris, Butler, and Simmons are enough to beat any championship level team as your top 3 talented guys?
I don't like Butler's reputation, but Harris could be in play. The Nets could max with Harris and it would be an upgrade at the appropriate position (4), but that's a lot of money for him. It's the same situation as trading D-Lo for Aaron Gordon for example. I don't see Marks risking max money there because he is not in danger of losing his job.
The Sixers speaking of which, finally figured it out when they added some veteran pieces, like J.J. Redick. At that point, they weren't really tanking anymore. They went from 26-56 in '16-'17 to 52-30 in '17-'18. I don't think tanking "doesn't work", but like everything there are situations it works much better than others. And it's a little ironic that the four teams standing in the West, didn't for any stretch of time (GS, Houston, Denver, and Portland).The Nets 2018 offseason signings of Jared Dudley and Ed Davis had the desired effect, but the team needs to add someone who is an even better player to the group. They should have currency to get those type of players but better, like Draymond Green.
People think of Green as a point forward, but anyone who watched Game 2 of this Rockets series or the 2016 NBA finals knows that is not his ideal fit. That said, his attitude should help the Nets and it was the additions of David Lee and Andre Iguodola that got Golden State to contender territory. Green is better than Lee was (2015 Finals Game 4 not withstanding), and if the Warriors keep Durant, he becomes expendable. They'd be better served replacing Green with another tall shooter and moving Durant to the 5, assuming he stays. Is he worth a max contract next spring? Probably not. Could he disrupt team chemistry? Maybe, but it would be all in the spirit of winning.
Green is not the shooter the Nets fancy, but he is still an upgrade over what they have at the 4 and occasional duty 5 spot. If they don't plan to re-sign Draymond anyway, would the Warriors trade him with a year left on his deal if Thompson and Durant remain in the fold? And what would the Nets give up for Green?
The Sean Marks school of thought is to be patient, we will know more about the Nets after another year of this group. It's entirely possible that Kurucs becomes a deadly shooter (as we have seen in practice) and the stretch 4 the Nets lacked this year. Whether that happens or not, Marks can then pick up Green for no assets summer 2020. That is what I expect to happen. But if he's seeing the chessboard unfold in early 2019 free agency, maybe we see a trade. And we know Marks wins almost every trade.