Two weeks from Thursday, GMs for the Nets and 29 other NBA teams will be on the phone while checking the clock to see how they can get done by 3:00 p.m. ET. While Sean Marks usually drops his big bombs near the Draft, there are reports (as there always are) regarding who might be on the block.
In the past 24 hours, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report and Mike Scotto of Hoopshype both wrote about who among the Nets roster might be tangled by Marks between now and then... but offered nothing on who the Nets might target.
The common names in the two reports are Paul Millsap who is waiting to learn his fate, Jevon Carter and Bruce Brown — with some speculation that the Nets might be interested in moving Nic Claxton but only if he can bring back a big piece, not further identified.
In efforts to bolster their roster around Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the Nets remain engaged in conversations regarding Jevon Carter, Bruce Brown and to a lesser extent Nic Claxton, sources said.
Brooklyn is working to find a new home for Paul Millsap that would provide the vet with more playing time and supply Nets with some type of return. Before agreeing to terms with the Nets this offseason, Millsap had significant conversations with both Golden State and Chicago.
Brooklyn wants an asset for some kind for Paul Millsap whether a veteran who can help them win now of a future second round pick. The Nets hit on drafting Kessler Edwards and he’s a name to watch for his two-way deal being converted to a standard NBA contract following the trade deadline and buyout market (March 1.)
Keep an eye on Bruce Brown as a trade chip too. His role and minutes have fluctuated at times with Brooklyn this season. Jevon Carter is another name to watch. He’s fallen out of Brooklyn’s rotation and he’s available on the trade market.
The Nets have taken calls on Joe Harris and Nicolas Claxton but I don’t expect those guys to be moved unless they’re packaged for a star or really high-profile starter.
There are some footnotes to highlight here. Brown cannot be traded unless he approves of the destination. He may very well since as an unrestricted free agent this summer, the prospect of more minutes might be appealing. Carter, who had his best game as a Net Wednesday, has this year and next on his contract, the 2022-23 number is nearly $4 million.
And while the Nets want to get something back for Millsap — “swapping Millsap for more perimeter shooting, sources say, is among the Nets’ goals.” says Marc Stein — pundits tell NetsDaily that that is by no means certain. One said he believes the Nets will ultimately waive Millsap ... and move Edwards on to the big club’s roster.
As for Claxton, he will be a restricted free agent this summer. Finally, Harris return remains to be determined with a March return as likely as one next month.
As Scotto notes, there’s also the buyout deadline a little more than a week after the trade deadline. The Nets picked up LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin last year after buyouts from San Antonio and Detroit. Last week, John Hollinger, in talking with Alex Schiffer, his colleague at The Athletic, offered two names as possibilities.
There aren’t that many veterans on expiring deals with non-contenders this year, so the pool is pretty thin. The most likely buyout guy I see is Orlando’s Gary Harris, who might help Brooklyn at the margins as a 3-and-D wing. But he would probably choose to reunite with the Denver Nuggets, where he would also probably play more.
The other guy who would be an A-1 target for Brooklyn is San Antonio’s Thaddeus Young, who has already done a tour with the Nets and would add a switchable veteran big who can pass. However, I think it is much more likely the Spurs trade him (thus getting some value) rather than simply saving a few dollars on a contract.
Friday, while speaking on Bill Simmons podcast, Brian Windhorst suggested there’s a possibility that if Serge Ibaka gets bought out by the Clippers after trade deadline, he could be a Nets target. Here’s what Windhorst said when discussing the possibility of Ibaka.
The Clippers are deep in the tax. and I don’t know what’s going to happen with Paul George and obviously with Kawhi (Leonard). So to save $40 million, the Clippers trade Serge Ibaka to the Thunder who are $20 million below the floor! And they’re like, ‘We don’t need Serge Ibaka! We got 14 rookies we’re playing. So Serge, thank you for coming by. Have a nice day.’ What!?! Serge Ibaka is a free agent.’
The Nets of course were interested in Ibaka in 2020, but couldn’t offer as much as L.A. who gave him a two-year, $19 million deal that is now expiring. The 6’11” big is 32 years old. He’s averaging six points, four rebounds and less than one block a game, playing 15 minutes a game.
And forget Kevin Love. As Windhorst notes, he’s a big part of the Cavs playoff push right now while being owed $60 million over the next two years. Indeed, Windhorst thinks may be best for Nets to sit tight and wait for everything to clear up.
As for Edwards conversion from two-way to standard, the Nets have plenty of time to make the decision. Two-ways can’t play in post-season, but the Nets don’t have to finalize their playoff roster till April 11, five days before the games begin.
And no, reports Adrian Wojnarowski, the Nets are not interested in trading Harden...
The Brooklyn Nets won’t listen to trade-deadline overtures for All-NBA guard James Harden, a resolve rooted in Harden’s repeated insistences to ownership and management that he is committed to staying and winning a championship with the franchise, sources told ESPN.