In Zach Lowe’s latest, he speculates about a potential trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets and Brooklyn Nets. Lowe discusses how the Denver Nuggets have inquired about Kyrie Irving, and how they might use the Nets in a three-team deal.
According to Lowe, Jeremy Lin would be the centerpiece heading to Cleveland to play with LeBron James.
That theoretical Denver package doesn't net LeBron a traditional point guard ready to handle as much of the heavy lifting as Irving has. The Nuggets could rope in Brooklyn for a three-team trade in which Cleveland would receive Jeremy Lin, Chandler, Harris, and a pick -- with the Nets gobbling up unwanted money, including Shumpert, for draft assets. Denver might keep Murray in this scenario, but they'd have to send out picks.
However, Lowe says it would be difficult for Kenny Atkinson to let go of Jeremy Lin and how the Nets would like to see the backcourt duo of Lin and Russell.
There have been no rumblings yet about Lin, or the Nets' participation as a third wheel in any Irving deal, league sources say. The bond between Kenny Atkinson, Brooklyn's coach, and Lin runs deep, and the Nets want to see how D'Angelo Russell looks next to Lin.
In another section, Lowe says Lin could be a lynchpin in a deal involving the Timberwolves.
Lin could be the lever that activates three-team deals here, too, with Brooklyn extracting draft picks to absorb Cole Aldrich and perhaps one other small salary. Minnesota has only 11 players under contract, meaning a 3-for-1 deal would leave them with half a roster. Maybe that is Tom Thibodeau’s fever dream, so that he can play everyone 40-plus minutes.
This, of course, would indicate that Jeremy Lin is not untouchable. Caris LeVert and D’Angelo Russell are the only “untouchable” Nets, according to league sources. (In fact, Russell can’t be traded until August 22 anyway ... Unless it’s in a one-for-one deal).
The Nets have been reluctant to go after free agents this summer despite having the most cap space in the league. It appears they’re waiting for the right deal to come along. Or they can save for next summer where very few teams have space.
For right now it’s only speculation, but it’s something to keep in mind as Cleveland tries to strike a deal involving Kyrie Irving.