The Glue Guys pod directly after that wild Toronto Raptors-Brooklyn Nets game. They talk Spencer Dinwiddie rising to the occasion again, Okafor showing a little something,and what to do with Jeremy Lin when he comes back.
Also in the pod and down below are three DeMarre Carroll trade possibilities. We understand that teams are hunting for wing help (per Woj) and that Carroll’s name was specifically brought up as someone teams are calling about. My general stance is: don’t trade Carroll just to trade him.
From ‘Salary Dump’ to ‘Team Leader,’ Carroll has provided a significant upgrade to the Nets. Fills all the gaps defensively, never demands the ball but yet scores at a nice clip. The Raptors game was a good reminder the value that he provides the team. If he’s out there in the final minutes providing the normal level of switchable defense he brings, the Nets win that game.
BUT! We must go through the exercise of examining his trade value and what the Nets could possibly get for him. Here are some trades that COULD be worked out from teams that need wing help.
The Bad Salary But Pick In Return Deal
Nets Get: Jon Leuer on a declining deal ($10.5 million this year, $10 million next season, $9.5 million in year 3), tire-kick on Henry Ellenson and a mid-round 1st.
WHY THEY DO IT: That thirst for another 1st.
WHY THEY DON’T: Do you really want to pay Jon Leuer, whose salary is not significantly different than Carroll’s, when you can just pay Carroll and have a sooner expiring plus a better player? And Ellenson just seems like a guy that will be featured in tweets from the Long Island Nets. But not even the first player mentioned, a la Milton Doyle. More like “... and Henry Ellenson chipped in 14 pts and 8 boards #LINets.”
CONCLUSION: If you so desire a 1st round pick, and the Pistons pick is likely to be in a decent enough range to take another swing at a Jarrett Allen-type, this is the move that makes sense. The salary implications are minor. Detroit is motivated to make this kind of deal. Making the playoffs and attempting to get into the 2nd round of the playoffs means more to them (and Coach/GM Stan Van Gundy) than drafting in the middle of the 1st round of the draft.
The Potluck Portland Deal
Nets Get: 24-year-old Moe Harkless on an ok-to-mehish deal, a taste of Noah Vonleh, and current Portland G League castoff Caleb Swanigan who was a 1st round pick in this past draft, plus a 2nd rounder in 2019.
WHY THEY DO IT: Basically a bet that Kenny Atkinson can pull something out of Moe Harkless that has yet to be pulled out of the Queens native. The Nets would convert current-day-DeMarre for a younger player who has some DeMarre-like tendencies. If Atkinson can take the current base that Harkless is (36.2% from 3, 6’9” 220) and develop him into something more, his contract would be a relative bargain.
There are essentially two types of trades the Nets are making at this point. One is the D’Lo version - getting a young asset/draft pick for assuming a bad contract. The second is the ‘underutilized asset’ deal. Jahlil Okafor was sitting on the bench with the 76ers, give him some run with the Nets. The best example of this is the Celtics grabbing Isaiah Thomas from the Suns because Phoenix had 4 point guards. Moe Harkless isn’t Isaiah but does represent something interesting for the Nets coaching staff to play with. Plus, in this completely made-up scenario, they’d get Caleb Swanigan to try to buy low on a rookie with talent.
WHY THEY DON’T: I showed you the good stats about Moe Harkless but he’s never averaged more than 10 points in a season, he doesn’t particularly do anything positive on the offensive side of the floor and his 3pt percentage is a nice number, but he takes less than two 3-pointers a game. The Nets already have a more talented version of Swanigan in Okafor. And even in this made-up scenario, it’s unlikely the Trailblazers will hand over a 1st round pick for DeMarre so it’d be a 2nd round pick. Not exactly earth shattering.
CONCLUSION: Not worth moving DeMarre for a deal that is unlikely to move the needle either way for the Nets future.
The Everyone-Will-Hate-Me-For-Proposing-It Trade
Nets Get: To pair the worst contract in basketball in Luol Deng (an escalating 3 year deal that starts at $17.2 million this year) with the other worst contract in basketball in Timofey Mozgov. BUT! Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance Jr., and Jordan Clarkson.
WHY THEY DO IT: I have to explain both teams here. For the Lakers, they can basically completely clear their books for the LeBron-Paul George-Player X free agent class. Deng being on their sheet stops that from happening. He’s currently untradeable. How do I know that? Because he hasn’t been trade.
It seems like the only avenue they have to get rid of Deng is eating his complete salary (which doesn’t really help their cap) OR include Ingram in a deal. I guess including Lonzo Ball in a trade would have the similar effect but I don’t think many teams want Lonzo right now. Lakers fans seem to think they will just be able to wave goodbye to Deng without giving up anything. But the rest of the NBA knows the position the Lakers are in. They are singularly focused on opening up cap space for LeBron and Co. Other GMs are only going to help the Lakers do that if the trade is so lopsided that it makes too much sense to do the deal. Okafor and Stauskas are expirings and Carroll, as evidence to this column, has interest from other teams around the league. He’s flippable where Deng is not.
For the Nets, you get to become the Castoff Lakers! For not having any of your own 1st round picks these past whatever seasons (I’ve stopped counting) you will have secured the services of Ingram and D’Angelo plus Nance and Clarkson.
Clarkson is in a weird place because his name is constantly mentioned in salary dump trade conversations but his contract is completely in line with his production as a stable 3rd guard on a roster. He makes as much money as Jeremy Lin, is younger and healthier at this point. Nance fills the athletic-4 role that the Nets are in desperate need of filling. The only real negative is the Deng contract. Which....
WHY THEY DON’T:... is just gross gross gross. It increases in cost about $800-thousand each year. And the anchor-effect of Deng’s contract is compounded by the current Mozgov-salary-dump situation. Depending on where you look, the cap for next season should be around $103 million. Combining the salaries of Deng, Mozgov, Crabbe and Clarkson, the Nets would be paying those 4 players about $66 million for the 2018-19 season. Not a tremendous allocation of cap resources. Now Deng’s deal is only $2.4 million a year more expensive than Carroll’s but again, Carroll is an asset this year and will be a big asset next when he’s on an expiring. Deng is an unasset.
And then there’s the whole Castoff Lakers thing. We already saw what it looks like when you pair D’Angelo Russell with Brandon Ingram. They should be better next season together in Brooklyn than they were last season in LA but it’s sort of like when Warner Brothers doubled down on the tone of Batman v Superman and made Justice League. It already didn’t work, its unlikely to work now even with more Wonder Woman (in the Nets scenario, Spencer Dinwiddie is Wonder Woman).
CONCLUSION: Obviously not going to happen. And I don’t think a D’Angelo-Ingram core is enough to nuke your cap space for the next two season. But the biggest swing possible Marks could make would be to do this, dip back in the Lakers-Awful-Contracts-Well and pull out another former high draft pick (Ingram) while also having to swallow another horrible contract.