The “who can the Nets deal Deron and Brook, and Joe, for series continues.” Here are some plausible ideas the Nets can explore in the central division: with the Pistons, Cavaliers, Pacers, Bulls, or Bucks. Here’s a lay of the land.
-Depth Chart: Jennings, Caldwell-Pope, Singler, Monroe, Drummond; Meeks, Augustin, Butler, Jerebko, Datome, Dinwiddie
-Pistons M.O.: Stan Van Gundy made clear in using the stretch exception to waive Josh Smith (spreading his cap hit over 2.5 times the years of his deal, at half the rate) that he is going to build the roster through his youth and seeks flexibility. That makes the Nets an awkward trade fit. Brandon Jennings is atrocious, so maybe Stan Van Gundy wants him out of town, but he’s not a fan of Deron. Greg Monroe? He is a lumbering big who scores in the post, but does not defend, pass, move, or play well as a complementary part in the pick and roll — any reason to trade for the lefty, shorter Brook Lopez? Drummond is the one piece Van Gundy sees as a cornerstone, so he is not going anyplace.
Perhaps Stan bites on a Joe Johnson deal? He spoke highly of him after the Nets win in Detroit this year.
-Trade 1: Johnson for Monroe, Jennings, Meeks, and Jerebko: this trade highlights the issue in doing a deal with Detroit. Their highest paid piece makes $8 million, in Jennings. This rant about Deron: http://www.newsday.com/sports/basketball/nets/stan-van-gundy-thinks-deron-williams-is-overrated-1.4499992 — something tells me he’s not trading for that. To trade for Joe requires inserting 4 pieces into the deal (!) for it to work and Stan won’t deal Drummond — is dealing for 4 core members of a 6-23 team going to make anything better? Also, Stan, with his waiving of Smith, just may commit to Monroe. If you’re not getting Monroe or Drummond, what does Detroit offer? Note: sub Butler for Jennings or Monroe and the deal works.
-Trade 2: Brook for Monroe, Jerebko, and Butler: File this under incredibly unlikely. Perhaps Stan thinks higher of Brook than Monroe. If so, the Nets could try to do something like this. Don’t expect a young asset like Caldwell-Pope to be included. This would basically represent the Nets getting non-core pieces from Detroit with Monroe, and subbing him for Brook within what they’re doing. But what’s the sense. He’s a free agent this summer and the Nets would have to commit to him.
-Depth Chart: Irving, Marion, James, Love, Thompson; Waiters, Miller, Dellavedova, Harris, Haywood, Jones, Varejao (out for the year, cannot be dealt until 4/30/15 anyway).
-Cavaliers M.O.: clearly, to win a championship, and have LeBron until he retires. Clearly, LeBron Kyrie and Love are off limits here. That limits the Nets’ return significantly. Varejao is out for the season, and is a friend of LeBron’s anyway. Thompson is a summer away from a payday the Nets would swallow in a deal for him — and he shares an agent with LBJ. Dion Waiters? He shoots too much, takes bad shots, doesn’t defend, is undisciplined, and has been something of a thorn in Cleveland’s side on the season — he’s not fixing any problems in Brooklyn. Another note: even in Lopez’s best year, LeBron said that Brandon Jennings should have made the allstar team over Lopez (another example that players make for terrible GM’s): LeBron has no respect for his game. If Cleveland moves for a Net big 3 member, it basically kills its future flexibility — is that worth it. Mirza? LeBron has a tendency of overdribbling at the top with a look of disrespect when he feels his defender can’t guard him and is a joke of a cover — he does that with Mirza on him.
Further, Brendan Haywood swells into a super valuable $10.5 million nonguaranteed deal in the summer – they won’t cash him in now.
The short of it: unless you’re getting Thompson or Waiters, what are you getting from Cleveland?
-Trade 1: Brook for Thompson Waiters Amundson Jones Harris Dellavedova and Alex Kirk — this is literally the only deal that worked with Cleveland in the ESPN trade machine, and there’s no way Cleveland does it. Simply put, LBJ Love Kyrie Varejao and Haywood staying put limits anything between these two. You need a third team.
-Depth Chart: George Hill (when healthy), Stuckey, Solomon Hill, West, Hibbert; Watson, Sloan, Miles, Copeland, Allen, Scola, Mahinmi, Rudez
-Pacers’ M.O.: Tread water this season, and hope they come back strong with Paul George and others healthy next season. They could make the playoffs in such a weak east, and if they don’t will draft a player to help next season. They likely still believe in their core and know the problem this year is all the injuries. With cap space in 2016, if they feel it’s not working they can reshape things. The Pacers see Hibbert and West as core pieces: what Brooklyn could fetch here is unclear. Why deal for Brook, with Hibbert in house. With George in house and Hill coming along, what’s Johnson’s role?
-Trade 1: Deron for Hill, Scola, and Mahinmi: Deron is the only piece that even in theory makes sense for Indiana (with theory being a critical word). If the Pacers take the chance on Deron, George Hill makes little sense for them. Mahinmi and Scola are reserves, and this deal would boost the Pacers “core” going forward if they believe Deron is an upgrade over Hill. Hill would be on the Nets books in the summer of 2016, but the deal would open about $14.1 million in cap flexibility for that summer.
-Trade 2: The above, substituting Miles or Copeland for Scola or Mahinmi.
-Depth Chart: Rose, Butler, Dunleavy, Gasol, Noah; Gibson, Mirotic, Brooks, Hinrich, McDermott
-Bulls’ M.O.: Pretty simple: build a contender around Derrick Rose. They have no cap room next summer with Butler’s impending extension, and won’t have any in 2016 if they resin Noah. How they handle these decisions will be interesting, but the Bulls have a fantastic, deep core, and with Rose, Butler, and Noah at Deron, Joe, and Brook’s positions, the Nets will likely find little mileage at this stop. With Rose and Butler in house, and the Bulls not dealing any large salaries, Brook, as a bench scorer for them, is all that even could make sense (but likely does not make sense).
-Trade 1: Brook Anderson and Jefferson for Gibson McDermott and Tony Snell: this is the type of trade that maybe makes sense, but is a reach. With Noah, Gasol, and Mirotic in house, perhaps the Bulls do not see Gibson as in the future plans, especially with Butler playing his way into enormous money. Perhaps Brook is perceived as an upgrade. Snell has fallen out of favor with Thibs, so the Nets would be giving him a look a la Karasev this season, and McDermott is not in the rotation. He or Kirk Hinrich is needed to match money, but Kirk is a Thibs favorite. With such a strong chance of winning the east, the Bulls may go all in. Anderson is a hard nosed wing whose flaws we know, but Thibs likes players of his ilk.
-Depth Chart: Knight, Mayo, Antetokounnmpo, Parker (pre injury), Sanders; Middleton, Ilyasova, Henson, Marshall, Bayless, Dudley, Pachulia
-Bucks’ M.O.: Build with the kids. The Bucks stumbled into Parker, and are going to build, step by step with this group. Not only are the Bucks and Nets precluded from a trade due to the Kidd deal, but even if they weren’t, there is little here that intrigues Milwaukee.
-trade 1 (offseason): Brook for Larry Sanders — this was a rumored deal Kidd wanted to make. It would require the Nets to see Sanders, on a longterm deal, as a cornerstone, and would present the need to shed Deron immediately to open the cap back up.