Rumors of Kevin Durant's possible departure from the Brooklyn Nets continue to circulate. The two-time champion submitted a trade request with the preferred destinations of the Miami Heat or the Phoenix Suns.
The Nets must do their due diligence and brace for all scenarios. They will demand a significant return for the two-time Finals MVP.
Replacing Durant would be a difficult task. A few players within the Nets roster could excel without KD on the team. Here are three players who could potentially benefit from Kevin Durant's departure.
#1. Ben Simmons
Arguably the best defensive player in the league when healthy, Ben Simmons stands to gain the most from Kevin Durant's departure. The Australian will automatically become the franchise player. The Nets would build the roster around Simmons.
With Durant gone, the offense will run through Simmons. The Nets possess sharpshooters Seth Curry, Patty Mills and Joe Harris, who would space the floor with Simmons. Simmons is an excellent facilitator, and the Nets could follow the Milwaukee Bucks model with Giannis Antetokoumpo.
#2. Cam Thomas
With the 27th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, the Nets selected Cam Thomas from LSU. The guard impressed many with his rookie season performances. Coming off the bench, Thomas averaged 8.5 points on better than 43% shooting from the field and recorded ten games with 20 or more points.
Cam Thomas' role could increase if Durant departs. With Simmons running the offense, Thomas could have more opportunities on offense. He could be even more effective if he improves his outside shooting.
#3. TJ Warren
TJ Warren impressed the NBA with his incredible performances in the Orlando Bubble in 2020. In the six regular-season games that Warren played, he averaged 31 points on better than 57% shooting and over 52% from distance. That's the player the Brooklyn Nets will be hoping to get next season.
Warren put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the Nets. They will plan for him to come off the bench and score.