Steve Bulpett, the veteran Boston basketball writer, says the Nets are aggressively looking to make deals in hopes of making themselves more attractive in next summer's free agency ... and making their traded pick less attractive.
Bulpett, noting that the Nets will be giving up a first-rounder to the Celtics, writes the Nets "won't just roll over and give Celtics a great pick."
Brooklyn is apparently very determined to make things less rewarding for the Celtics. According to league sources, the Nets have been walking up and down the aisles in the NBA marketplace, looking for deals that could make them better in the short term as well as in the distance.
Where one might expect a club with a 10-23 record to be more accepting of all the losses, knowing something better in the form of the chance to draft a top player awaits — much like stepping in to take a charge to force a turnover — the Nets can see there is no such prize for taking these punches.
According to one league executive, "You’re going to see (the Nets) start making moves."
They’ll still have an eye on what they can develop that will make them better in the next year or more, he said, but the Nets have to do everything they can to project the idea that they’re getting better and that they’re a place that free agents should want to sign.
Bulpett also quoted Billy King from an interview he did in preseason.
"I mean, I’ve got to focus on what we have to do right now. I’m looking at it like, OK, how do we get Chris McCullough ready for next season? If we don’t have a first(-round pick), how do we get a second? How do we get another first? And we have $39 million in cap space. What are we going to do with it this summer? . . . We’re preparing for the draft like we always have. Guys are out there scouting everybody, because you never know. We may trade for a pick. We may buy a pick."
A win Monday over Boston would give the Nets a 3-1 record against the team that holds its pick.