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Woj: First round picks from Philly trade ‘going to be trade assets’ for Brooklyn

NBA: NBA-Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In a talk with Mike Greenberg on ESPN Sunday, Adrian Wojnarowski said that the Nets see both the first rounds picks they got in the Harden-for-Simmons deal will be used as trade assets. The Nets have Philly’s unprotected first rounder in this year’s Draft and a protected pick in 2027 for that deal.

“Among the Nets trade assets from the Philadelphia trade with James Harden ... here’s a decision they have to make by June 1 ... Do they keep Philly’s 2022 first round pick, use it this year — it’s 23rd overall — or they can kick it to 2023. They got to make that decision by June 1.

“For the Nets, the chance to be able to use that in trades — they’ve got Philly’s 2022 pick and 2027 pick — Ultimately, they may never use a player from those Draft picks. They’re going to be trade assets.”

Woj also spoke just how important Bruce Brown’s play after the Philly trade could be for him.

“Obviously, Bruce Brown has had a tremendous season,” Woj noted. “He’s looking like a 12, 13, 14 million dollar player in this marketplace. They have to sign him.”

Brown is playing under a $4.7 million qualifying offer. While technically an unrestricted free agent, Brown could return if the Nets sign him outright or match a rival team’s offer.

The other big free agent of course is Kyrie Irving assuming he opts out of the final year of his contract and go for an extension that could be worth $248 million if the Nets and he agree to a max, without any protections.

“What does an extension look like for Kyrie Irving? He has said he wants to be back in Brooklyn. He wants to continue with Kevin Durant. He could do a five-year deal, go beyond Kevin Durant. Durant’s signed through 2026. Does Brooklyn want to put him on the same contract path as KD? Do they want to do something shorter? Does he want to do something shorter? That’s going to be an interesting conversation between the Nets and Kyrie Irving.”

The last decision Woj and Greenie discussed was the ballooning of the Nets salary and luxury tax commitments next season.

“They’re going to be approaching next year $345 and $350 million next year,” said Woj talking about the combination of salary and taxes. “That’s where Golden State is at this year: the highest salary and luxury tax payments in the league. Brooklyn is going to be in that neighborhood if they keep this team together.”

Woj did not discuss whether the Nets are leaning in either way on that final point. Nor was there any discussion of whether Steve Nash will return which one would have expected in a listing in answer to the question, “what are the big decisions the Nets are going to be facing?” The graphic for the NBA Countdown segment featured Nash, but Woj did not discuss his status.