Net fans are all charged up by three trade rumors (aka raw speculation), all of them centered around next week’s NBA Draft, and the buzzwords are “possibilities,” “assets,” and for some, “hope.”
Part of the NBA Draft’s allure is selling optimism, especially in a league where the balance of power is anything but balanced. The Nets have been one of the teams incrementally improving, and sooner or later, the results will need to be substantial.
With that, three plausible targets have crept to the forefront of fan focus over the last several days, and for better or for worse, the fan base appears torn at what Sean Marks should do.
Target one: Denver Nuggets’ number-14 pick and Kenneth Faried.
At what cost: Nets’ 29th overall pick and a young piece (i.e. Spencer Dinwiddie or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson).
Naturally, this began to gain steam on Nets Twitter. The origins? Mainly from us, the Netsdaily community, with some help from pundits who note Denver’s tough position.
Prior to the 2015-16 season, Faried re-signed with the Nuggets for $50 million over four years. Next seaon is the final year of that deal. Faried will rack in $13.7 million before his first taste at unrestricted free agency.
Faried, a Newark, New Jersey native, had by far his worst career season in 2017-18, logging seven starts in 32 appearances, a personal-low 14.4 minutes per game, averaging only 5.9 points and 4.8 rebounds, and falling out of the rotation as early as December.
Because of the Nuggets’ point guard woes, Dinwiddie’s name has floated around more so in this particular rumor, though, a Hollis-Jefferson for Faried swap could make more sense position wise. In any event, the Nets will carry four point guards into the summer for now at least: D’Angelo Russell, Dinwiddie, Isaiah Whitehead and a returning Jeremy Lin. Parting with one makes sense, and Dinwiddie growing into a Most Improved Player candidate has heightened his value to quite literally unforeseen heights.
He and Hollis-Jefferson will be free agents in 2019, the latter restricted, unlike Dinwiddie. If the Nets don’t see a long-term deal in the future, parting ways for a higher draft pick will always make sense as it pertains to the business of basketball.
Target two: Charlotte Hornets’ number-11 pick and Dwight Howard
At what cost: Nets’ 29th overall pick, DeMarre Carroll and Hollis-Jefferson.
Better late than never?
This one brought to the table by Net Income himself. He says it’s hypothetical. He knows.
The Nets and Howard have been linked in some form or fashion for the better part of this decade, dating back to when D12 was an undisputed machine at center, and one of the elite players in the game.
Even though he averaged 16.6 points, 12.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 81 games (all starts) with Charlotte last season — statistically his best showing since 2013-14 — he’s not viewed primarily as an asset. There is immaturity and locker room mentality to consider ... though, Kenny Atkinson may disagree after Howard’s 32 points and 30 rebounds in Brooklyn months ago.
Speaking of which, Howard teased this deal today. Not really, but I’ll say he did.
So what’s in it for Brooklyn other than the 11th overall pick, which is not to be trifled with? Howard makes north $23 million next season before coming off the books. He could be an asset the Nets could sell at February’s trade deadline, or simply part with while having the benefit of cap relief next summer. That rewards them one of the most important things in business: flexibility. And with flexibility comes options.
Again, Nets will have to determine of Hollis-Jefferson is here for the long haul. As for Carroll, who was named in trade rumors this past season, he is due to make $15.4 million next year. The Nets will have to decide if Howard, the 11th pick ... and his baggage ... is worth Carroll’s leadership and Hollis-Jefferson’s hustle.
Target three: Memphis Grizzles’ 4th pick and Chandler Parsons.
At what cost: ???
Where the hell to begin? Here for starters:
Nets high-pace system would benefit both greatly. Faried is a quick, athletic player who hustles and leaps for any and everything. Great pair with Dinwiddie + DLo— Thomas J. DeMartino (@Tom_DeMartino) June 11, 2018
Not that this is actually happening but it is being talked about. On one level, Marks loves assets like the Mets love the disabled list and may inquire about simply because the game is the game.
It is unclear what the Grizzles actually want, but ideally, we’re probably talking about youth, assets, and earlier cap space. Parsons, who’s been a bag of bones his first two years in Memphis, is due $49 million over the next two seasons, and parting with fourth overall could be enticing enough for Brooklyn, especially when you … I mean … just look at Boston.
However, the package could be too steep and too long. Would the Nets part with anyone other than a Carroll? What else would the Grizzlies want and remember, the Nets want cap space for free agents next July, not the dead weight of Parsons’ big deal.
Then again, this is the No. 4 overall we’re talking about, and when selecting this high in the draft, you’re hoping for not simply a core piece, but a franchise changer. If the Grizzles stand pat, they walk away with someone in the vein of Mohammed Bomba, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley or Jaren Jackson.
If the Nets were serious, some fan favorites would become casualties in any scenario, but particularly in a deal with Memphis.
At 11 and 14, you’re looking at the likes of Miles Bridges, Collin Sexton, Zhaire Smith, Robert Williams, Lonnie Walker, Kevin Knox and others. Not as good as a top four pick, but remember: Donovan Mitchell was 13th overall in 2017.
Okay, Nets fans, go for it.