The trade deadline is 3:00 p.m. a week from Thursday and after a few days of quiet, things are once again getting loud. Quin Snyder, the Hawks head coach, reportedly lobbying Atlanta’s front office to take Dejounte Murray off the trade block, Kyle Lowry, recently dealt to Charlotte may very well get bought out rather than traded, etc...
And ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, whose track record on the Nets has been close to dead-on accurate the last two years, says a D’Angelo Russell reunion could be possible, that his name has been “floated” as a Nets target. In his ESPN+ report on each team’s trade prospects, Windy wrote this of Brooklyn...
Most likely to be traded: Spencer Dinwiddie
The Nets entered the trade season looking like they could be buyers. But a 5-12 record since Christmas Day has weakened their outlook, and now they’re looking at all options. They have seven tradable first-rounders, which makes anything possible, but they could also end up being a part of a three-team deal that saves major assets for the future.
If they do make a deal, it would likely be for a guard — former Nets All-Star D’Angelo Russell has been among those names floated. With an expiring $20.3 million deal, Dinwiddie is the likely fulcrum in any big move before the deadline.
DLo, of course, has been mentioned as part of a three-team deal that would send Murray to Los Angeles, Dinwiddie to Atlanta and Russell to Brooklyn. But Windhorst seems to be hinting that the possibilities are expanding.
Indeed, on Wednesday morning, Shams Charania suggested that the Nets and Lakers might be cooking up something bigger.
“Dejounte Murray is going to continue to emerge as the top target for the Lakers, from what I’m told,” Shams told FanDuel. “Another scenario to keep an eye on, players that the Lakers do have interest in I’m told, is three guys from the Nets: Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neale.”
"Dejounte Murray is going to continue to emerge as the top target for the Lakers, from what I'm told...Another scenario to keep an eye on, players that the Lakers do have interest in I'm told, is three guys from the Nets: Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O'Neale."… pic.twitter.com/fSlRUxzzpq— Run It Back (@RunItBackFDTV) January 31, 2024
Shams did not detail who might be going in the other direction.
Russell, now 27, spent two years with the Nets, including 2018-19 when he surprisingly led a group of then-young Nets to the playoffs. Would the Nets want him back?
Russell, who wanted to stay in Brooklyn, apparently did not leave happily as Brian Lewis learned when DLo returned to Barclays Center 18 months later...
Marks shipped him off in a sign-and-trade to Golden State for Kevin Durant as part of the “Clean Sweep.”
All that said, Windhorst wrote his story before Ben Simmons made his return on Monday and looked like his former All-Star self. Will the Nets want or need a point guard with a healthy Simmons, particularly with their desire to stay below the luxury tax threshold next season? How long would it take for the Nets to feel comfortable with him? D’Lo has one year and $18.7 million after this one.
Windhorst’s other point is a bit more mysterious, that the Nets could be a player in a “three-time deal that saves major assets for the future.” The Nets have seven trade exceptions, the most in the league, that could be useful in facilitating a trade and bring back other assets.
D’Lo wore No. 1 while he was in Brooklyn, a number now worn by Mikal Bridges. He could always wear No. 11.