NBA

The Brooklyn Nets Just Added a Reliable Guard to Pair With Kyrie Irving

The Brooklyn Nets have been a popular team involved in trade rumors over the last few weeks, and they just made their first move of the 2020-21 NBA season.

No, it wasn’t James Harden, but the Nets are still pairing Kyrie Irving with a young, promising guard. Brooklyn just acquired Bruce Brown from the Detroit Pistons for¬†Dzanan Musa¬†and a 2021 second-round pick by way of Toronto. What does Brown bring to the Nets and what’s the next move for Brooklyn?

The Nets acquire Bruce Brown

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On Monday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported the Nets will be acquiring Bruce Brown from the Pistons in exchange for Dzanan Musa and a 2021 second-round pick. It was the first official move announced ahead of the opening of the NBA trade window on Nov. 16.

Musa was a first-round pick for the Nets in 2018, but Brooklyn didn’t get the return on investment it expected from him. The 6-foot-9 small forward shot 37.6% in two seasons with the Nets, and he only recorded seven games with double-digit points in 49 career games.

Brown, on the other hand, provides an improved scoring threat, a better shooter, and a much-needed defensive upgrade at the guard position.

Bruce Brown is an underrated NBA talent

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The Bruce Brown move might’ve slipped through the cracks with James Harden and Chris Paul trade rumors swirling across the NBA of late, but the Brown addition is an underrated one for Brooklyn.

Brown has steadily improved month-by-month over the course of his short NBA career. He entered the league in 2018 as a second-round draft pick, and he played 19.6 minutes per game for the Pistons in 74 appearances as a rookie.

In his debut season, Brown averaged 4.3 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game for Detroit. He shot 39.8% from the floor and 25.8% from three as a rookie, but he’s only improved in every category in year two.

In 2019-20, Brown upped his numbers to 8.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. He also improved his shooting to 44.3% and his 3-point shooting to 34.4%.

The defensive-minded guard nabbed 1.1 steals per game and even recorded 0.5 blocks per game last season. He transformed his game from defensive stalwart with no offensive threat as a rookie to capable scorer and creator heading into his third NBA season.

The Nets needed a defensive stopper at guard who could hit an open shot when Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant get double-teamed. They found that guy in Bruce Brown.

What’s next for the Nets?

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The Nets are clearly gunning for an NBA title in 2021, and their offseason moves are probably far from complete. They already got Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant a new role player, and now they’re looking to pair them with a third superstar.

James Harden reportedly wants out of Houston, and his top two choices for trade destinations are the 76ers and Nets, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

If Brooklyn can add Harden to an explosive offense that already has two of the most lethal scorers in the NBA, look out.

All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference