In an appearance on ESPN’s Get Up Monday morning, Adrian Wojnarowski said that the Nets are still trying to keep Kevin Durant “tethered to this franchise” and “perhaps” dangle newly acquired Spencer Dinwiddie in a deal that when combined with other assets could bring them a player that could help the Nets “compete at the highest level.”
But the deal involving Dinwiddie became a lot more difficult when the Nets and Mavs, under pressure from Dallas, closed the deal shortly before 6:00 p.m ET Monday. Said Sean Marks in a statement...
“We’re excited to add Spencer and Dorian to our roster, while also securing draft compensation that will increase our flexibility moving forward,” said Sean Marks. “Spencer is a dynamic, multi-talented guard who we are very familiar with from his previous stint in Brooklyn. Dorian is an experienced wing who brings perimeter shooting and defensive versatility to our group. Together, the two players will fit seamlessly with our roster and provide the team with proven veteran talent.”
In his Get Up appearance, Woj pointedly did not suggest that KD is ready to commit to the new Nets roster. The Nets, he said, may “make aware of when they’re going to do a deal or who they might be pursuing,” but also added that “It’s on the Nets right now to make the case to Kevin Durant that they’re putting a team around him.”
So much so, Woj said, that the Nets would be willing to move Dinwiddie or anyone else on the roster not name Durant before 3:00 p.m. ET Thursday.
“It’s on the Nets right now to make the case to Kevin Durant that they’re putting a team around him that can compete at the highest level,” said Woj. “ So that’s what they’re going to continue to do between now and Thursday’s trade deadline. I think he’s going to be made aware of when they’re going to do a deal or who they might be pursuing. But ultimately it’s on Brooklyn now to keep reshaping this roster.”
Woj did not say that the Nets were definitely interested in moving Dinwiddie who gives them size at the point and is still a big fan favorite in Brooklyn. He noted that beyond the picks, the Nets have “some tradeable assets” — not further identified — they could use in deadline deals.
“They’ve got three future first round picks and some tradeable assets here to see if they can continue to improve this roster, bring in some more size and who knows maybe even at that point guard position, keep looking around to see what else might be available but for now, Spencer Dinwiddie is their point guard.”
Woj said he does like what both Dinwiddie and Dorian Finney-Smith bring to the table, calling DFS “a really versatile, perhaps underrated player.” He also noted that the Nets demanded more draft picks than Dallas was initially willing to part with. The picks, Woj argued, are critical to the Nets plans to make additional moves that would satisfy Durant.
“Both Brooklyn and Dallas were motivated to move quickly, get that deal done, once they really started to talk on Sunday. Dallas might have wanted to put a little less draft capital in that trade but they didn’t want to lose Kyrie Irving. They didn’t want a deal to end up elsewhere. So they moved to get it done Sunday.
“They did that with Brooklyn who now wants to take the assets from that trade — both draft capital and perhaps Spencer Dinwiddie — and see what else is available out there in the marketplace to continue improving this roster around Kevin Durant but the deal, as it stands now, satisfies the needs Brooklyn had with a point guard in Dinwiddie and a really versatile, perhaps underrated, player in Dorian Finney-Smith, one of the best perimeter defenders who can defend multiple positions for you.
“The Nets certainly need that with all the great wing players in the East [that] you’re trying to get through in the post-season.”
Indeed, according to Marc Stein’s reporting Sunday, “Durant, for the record, is known to be a Finney-Smith fan.” Still, Finney-Smith told the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend that Brooklyn may not be his final destination either.
“You never know. We’ve still got four more days and you never know what can happen,” he added. Finney-Smith was, according to Townsend, still in Dallas Sunday night after flying back from San Francisco following news he’d been dealt. Does he know anything?
Bottom line, per Woj?
“Brooklyn’s not done. They’ve got three first-round picks now through 2029 — one from Philly, one from Dallas, one of their own, that they can put in trades. So they’re going to continue to be active to try to keep Kevin Durant tethered to this franchise at least through this Thursday’s trade deadline.”
Later in the day, Woj confirmed that the Nets are hoping to expand the Mavericks deal but were facing difficulties...
ESPN Sources: Nets-Mavs trade still hasn’t been made official with league office because Nets are evaluating opportunities to expand deal w/ a third team. Teams are expected to make two-way deal official in next couple of hours – unless Nets find something bigger to fold into it.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2023
However, Tim MacMahon tweeted in response that while the Nets want to hold off, the Mavs have reasons to get it done...
Mavs understand Brooklyn exploring ways for Nets to expand the deal, but Dallas needs the deal done today. Plan is for Kyrie Irving to join team in LA for practice tomorrow and play Wednesday vs. Clippers. https://t.co/HoWoPPrMp2— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 6, 2023
And indeed, the deal was closed. While Dinwiddie could still be moved, the CBA prohibits teams from trading newly acquired players for 60 days unless it’s a one-for-one trade.
Also, not everyone thinks the Nets were planning to move Dinwiddie. Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports wrote Monday afternoon that the Nets plan to keep the 29-year-old.
“[S]ources said the Nets do not intend to move Dinwiddie, although Brooklyn and Toronto remain engaged in trade conversation as Thursday’s 3:00 p.m. ET trade deadline looms,” Fischer wrote.
At that point, Fischer confirmed the Nets-Mavericks deal remains open, with the Nets hoping to expand it.
“That deal has not yet been completed, league sources told Yahoo Sports, and the Nets have actively explored ways to expand the trade into a three-team framework that further upgrades Brooklyn’s roster around Kevin Durant,” wrote the Yahoo! writer.
Meanwhile, Woj’s colleague, Brian Windhorst said the Nets had been indeed in contact with the Raptors, possibly about O.G. Anunoby, Toronto’s 6’7” power forward.
“I still don’t know what the Raptors are going to do,” said Windhorst, per RealGM.
“The Nets are definitely calling the Raptors over the last 24 hours,” replied Zach Lowe.
“If the Nets could flip some of this stuff that they got and pry OG Anunoby out of there, you may have something there with the Nets, but I don’t know if they’re going to be able to,” added Windhorst.
Stein, however, thought the Nets had been aiming not for Anunoby but for Fred Van Vleet, the Raptors All-Star 6’0” point guard.
“Brooklyn has explored the feasibility of packaging Spencer Dinwiddie and draft capital to Toronto in an attempt to acquire Fred VanVleet.” tweeted the veteran writer.
Among the possibilities for expanding the Kyrie Irving-to-Dallas trade before this evening's scheduled trade call: League sources say that Brooklyn has explored the feasibility of packaging Spencer Dinwiddie and draft capital to Toronto in an attempt to acquire Fred VanVleet. https://t.co/L6kg8rNmoy— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 6, 2023
However, all of that speculation ended when the deal between the Nets and Mavericks became official. If the Nets are going to go for Anunoby or Van Vleet, they’ll likely have to do it using other assets.