It’s starting to become the pundits’ mantra for the Brooklyn Nets as the trade deadline approaches: Sean Marks & co. are trying to sell, not buy, and even their desire to sell is limited.
Adrian Wojnarowski on his podcast, recorded Sunday night with Bobby Marks, re-emphasized the Nets are among the few sellers in a league where most teams want to add players (and picks.)
“Brooklyn is a seller on a couple of guys,” said Woj.
“You look at Brooklyn. Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neale, Dorian Finney-Smith. Those guys are all guys people are calling on and they’re in conversations, but let’s see if there are actually trades there.”
This fits with what sources have told NetsDaily as well as Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports and Marc Stein of The Steinline and is not much different from what Mike Scotto of Hoopshype has heard, that is, O’Neale could yield a couple of seconds and a player like Nassir Little of the Suns or a protected first rounder for Finney-Smith. Dinwiddie who is not playing well this time around with Brooklyn, reportedly has a limited market.
And as if it needed repeating, Woj once again said the Nets have no interest in rebuilding by trading Mikal Bridges for picks. He said the Nets believe that Bridges is a player who can fit anywhere and could be a lure for a new star — “Everyone wants to play with Mikal Bridges.” Woj also noted that the Net have turned down as many as five firsts for Bridges.
“They are telling everybody no on Mikal Bridges. They’ve been offered, from the day they got Mikal Bridges, there have been a ton of offers — four picks, five picks,” Woj told Bobby Marks. “There’s nowhere he doesn’t fit. They love Bridges there. They want to bring in the next player, the next big player there. Everyone wants to play with Mikal Bridges. So you hope they want to do it in Brooklyn vs. somewhere else.”
Marc Stein in his latest Steinline update added another rationale for the Nets decision not to trade Bridges, even for a package that included some of the Nets trade assets and Jalen Green, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Bridges’ talent and versatility are just two factors fueling that stance. He also has two seasons left on his contract after this one, both paying less than $25 million each, which makes the 27-year-old one of the league’s best values in a new CBA landscape that comes with so many roster-building restrictions for teams with the highest payrolls. So the Nets naturally see Bridges as an ideal fit next to another star — assuming they have the pathway to acquiring one — on a number of levels.
In discussing Dejounte Murray’s situation, Woj did not mention the Nets, focusing instead on the Lakers interest and the Hawks desire for Austin Reaves (who he said he’d be “shocked” to see moved.)
Meanwhile, Scotto in his latest round-up for Hoopshype seemed in agreement with Woj, re-emphasizing what he had reported two days ago. Scotto added that the Nets are among the teams interested in the Wizards point guard Tyus Jones. Scotto said the Wizards want a first for Jones and listed the Nets among five teams with interest, not further detailed, in the 27-year-old.
Like Dan Woike, the Lakers beat writer for the Los Angeles Times, Scotto thinks that the loss of Jarred Vanderbilt might make DFS more appealing to the Lake Show.
With Jarred Vanderbilt potentially out for the season, per ESPN, Finney-Smith is a versatile defensive forward who can make up for his loss while spacing the floor.
However, Woj in discussing the Lakers situation offered some skepticism about L.A.’s willingness to make any big deals.
“Expectations are tempered right now in L.A., Bobby. that there might not be anything that can move the needle for them,” said Woj.
Shams Charania, speaking on FanDuel TV, thinks that if the Murray deal falls through for the Lakers, L.A. could turn to Brooklyn...
.@ShamsCharania once again connects the Lakers to the Nets trio of Dorian Finney-Smith, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Royce O’Neale to kick off the NBA’s Trade Deadline Week.— Billy Reinhardt (@BillyReinhardt) February 5, 2024
Notes that Dejounte Murray remains LA’s priority. However, all indications seem like the Nets are the second…
Scotto also noted again that the Nets have no interest in moving Bridges, writing that “the Nets declined to entertain anything for Bridges when Houston inquired” about the possibility of returning “several” of the draft assets the Nets sent the Rockets in the original trade for James Harden.
The Hoopshype writer also suggested that the Nets are unlikely to move Nic Claxton.
Days away from the deadline, Nic Claxton has also drawn trade interest around the league, but some rival executives have come away with the belief that Brooklyn will look to retain him in unrestricted free agency this summer.
Finally, Scotto noted what others around the league have said, that the Nets could have gotten more for their two 3-and-D forwards a year ago or last summer than they can now.
At the trade deadline last season, Finney-Smith could’ve fetched two first-round picks, league sources told HoopsHype. O’Neale could’ve garnered a first-round pick at last year’s trade deadline as well, sources said.
We will update this round-up as necessary.