The trades were kind of meh, at least at this point. We will learn over the next two months — 31 games — just how good they were. In the meantime, we will have to rely on the usual trade grades, a hodge-podge of punditry. Some grades are for all team activity on Thursday, some break things down by individual trades.
All that said, the grades are a mix of B’s and C’s, Not every outlet graded every trade and considering the Nets trades were on the margin of overall relevancy, meaning they’re unlikely to move the needle, not every writer graded every trade.
Brooklyn Nets - B (Nets-Raptors)
This is basically a challenge trade of 30-year-old point guards, with the Nets swapping out Dinwiddie a year after getting him at the deadline in exchange for Schroder. Dinwiddie will be a free agent at season’s end, while Schroder is under contract for $13 million next season.
Assuming Brooklyn did not plan to re-sign Dinwiddie, getting a starting-caliber point guard under contract gives the Nets more spending power this summer. They can re-sign Nic Claxton and utilize their midlevel exception without much danger of going into the luxury tax. Additionally, because Brooklyn can fit both players into existing trade exceptions, the Nets have the potential to create a new exception for Dinwiddie’s $20.4 million cap hit.
With Dinwiddie dropping to 32% from 3-point range after hitting 37% a season ago, his scoring inefficiency became an issue for Brooklyn. Schroder is an upgrade as a playmaker and his .559 true shooting percentage is better than Dinwiddie’s .530 mark, despite being responsible for a slightly larger share of the Toronto offense.
The downside is the Nets get smaller. The 6-5 Dinwiddie was a key part of a system that has switched on the most pick-and-rolls in the NBA, per Second Spectrum tracking. Dinwiddie switched on 39% of the picks where he defended the ball handler, as compared to just 22% with Schroder for the Raptors.
Young is largely in this deal to match salary in the final year of his contract, but he may be able to help as a backup big man. Young is returning to Brooklyn after spending two seasons with the Nets nearly a decade ago.
Toronto Raptors grade: B-
Brooklyn Nets grade: B+ (Nets-Suns-Grizzlies)
Getting any kind of pick value for O’Neale is a positive for the Nets, who are on the wrong side of the cut line for the play-in tournament at 11th in the East. The players they got in return could have some value too.
Bates-Diop looked like a strong minimum signing for the Suns after shooting a career-high 39% from 3-point range for the San Antonio Spurs last season. But, that performance is starting to look like the outlier, limiting Bates-Diop to a bench role in Phoenix. He holds a player option for 2024-25 at the minimum.
Goodwin got off to a strong start as the Suns’ backup point guard before fading, also because of shooting. He’s making just 29% of his 3-point attempts and hasn’t been accurate enough inside the arc to compensate after showing promise with the Washington Wizards in 2022-23. Brooklyn has a team option for Goodwin in 2024-25.
Memphis Grizzlies grade: C+
Brooklyn Nets: C
The Nets likely hoped for a first-round pick in exchange for Royce O’Neale. That may not have been realistic, but second-rounders are still a disappointing return. The Dennis Schroder addition gets Spencer Dinwiddie out of the locker room and at least gives them a viable starting point guard for next season, but he’ll also take shots away from the developing Cameron Thomas, and his fit with Ben Simmons, who handles the ball quite a bit when healthy, is also shaky. Finally, every year the Nets hold onto Dorian Finney-Smith, his trade value declines. The Nets had a chance to really shake things up at the deadline and add meaningful future assets. They didn’t, and their long-term direction remains in flux.
Brooklyn Nets: C+ (Nets-Suns-Grizzlies)
The Nets gave up a 2023 first-round pick to acquire O’Neale, so they’ve now received three second-round picks and a pu pu platter of minimum-salary role players to send him out. It’s not a great return, but such is life when Durant and Kyrie Irving decide they don’t want to lead your franchise anymore. This deal is probably more about the second-round picks than anything else. They acquired Thad Young and Dennis Schröder for Spencer Dinwiddie earlier in the day. And a roster crunch made them waive Harry Giles. Now, they send out O’Neale for this.
Bates-Diop is a solid role player in limited minutes. A year ago, the Nets sent out Kessler Edwards amid another roster crunch. Bates-Diop is like an upgraded version of Edwards on some level. I like Goodwin quite a bit as a guard to develop for the bench. The Nets might not have the minutes to give out to Goodwin unless an injury happens, but he’s shown some flashes with the ball where I think he can develop into a rotation guy.
Brooklyn Nets: B+ (Nets-Suns-Grizzlies)
This is pretty good value for O’Neale when you consider he’s on an expiring contract and shouldn’t be tussling with cream-of-the-crop point-of-attack creators anymore.
Exact second-round details aren’t yet available, but Phoenix has two ultra-distant selections from Memphis. Getting even one of those is a quaint flier.
As far as the actual players go, we’ll see who actually sticks in Brooklyn. Experimenting with Bates-Diop should be a priority, particularly after moving O’Neale.
Memphis Grizzlies: TBD
Phoenix Suns: A+
Brooklyn Nets: B (Nets-Raptors)
On the bright side, it doesn’t look like the Nets included Dennis Smith Jr. in this deal (for now, anyway). And Schröder, unlike Dinwiddie, is on the books for next season at roughly mid-level-exception money. That’s a good stopgap to have for a Brooklyn offense thin on self-creators and facilitators.
Schröder is also having a better season from deep than Dinwiddie and remains both a higher-volume and -efficiency player at the rim. So while this deal doesn’t scream “game-changer,” it’s a combination of minor needle-mover and could-be savvy bookkeeping by Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Nets: C (Nets-Suns-Grizzlies)
Brooklyn Nets: B+ (Nets-Raptors)
Of course, the real grades will be given out after the final semester and maybe the final paper.
In addition to grades, there were analyses of the deals by other writers. Keith Smith, who writes for Spotrac, had this to say about the trades without grading them
O’Neale no longer had a real place on Nets team that is transitioning to a new phase. Getting three future second-round picks for a player that was no longer in the plans is really good for Brooklyn. That’s the real point of this trade.
Bates-Diop will get a look from the Nets. They can use another wing behind Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson. If Bates-Diop can rediscover the shooting form he had with the San Antonio Spurs last season, he’s a steal for Brooklyn the rest of this year and next. If not, he’s probably a trade candidate this summer, assuming he picks up his player option.
The Nets waived Jordan Goodwin following the trade.
The writing was on the wall for Dinwiddie’s time in Brooklyn. The veteran guard the Nets hadn’t been able to agree on a contract extension. Brooklyn still wanted some certainty at the position, so in comes Schroder.
Schroder has had a nice season for the Raptors, but he was supplanted in the starting lineup by Immanuel Quickley after the OG Anunoby trade. As Toronto is resetting their roster, they don’t need a high-end backup point guard, which made Schroder very available.
The 30-year-old lead guard will bring some stability to the position for Brooklyn. Schroder can score and run the offense. He’s shot relatively well from deep. And he can still be a pesky defender at times.
Schroder’s contract shouldn’t be an impediment to any plans Sean Marks has for the offseason. If it is, the veterans deal is tradable enough that Brooklyn should be able to move him without worry.
It’s been reported that the Nets will waive Thaddeus Young. He’ll be a target for playoff contenders that are looking to add some veteran experience to their frontcourt.