With several days until the trade deadline, the Nets GM search is still pending. From a practical perspective, that easily may lead to them sitting out this trade deadline, at least with regard to big transactions.
However, the lack of a GM does not preclude the Nets from making a deal they want to make. And it certainly does not preclude fans from speculating regarding the deadline’s possibilities, should the Nets approach it aggressively like any other deadline.
So who can the Nets acquire this deadline? There are limitations: the majority of the Nets roster, frankly, has so little value that it is virtually untradeable, and there are no picks in house to deal picks for players. Still, let’s look at some possibilities.
GO BIG OR GO HOME DIVISION:
–Atlanta Hawks and Memphis Grizzlies three team trade:
-Nets get: Teague, Vince Carter, Sefolosha, and Mike Scott
-Hawks get: Lopez, Brandan Wright, and Mario Chalmers
-Grizzlies get: Splitter and Bojan Bogdanovic
There’s a lot to chew on here. From the Nets’ perspective, if you decide that Lopez is not a piece to move forward with, you get Teague, who makes far less money and fills your point guard position. Given the amount of value Atlanta is getting in this trade, you probably push the Hawks here to convey their first rounder, or a future first rounder, which could provide a mid round pick as well. Vince Carter gives the front office the little “splash” boost it always craves, while Sefolosha is a good defender on the wing. Mike Scott is just here to make the money work.
For the Hawks, if you believe Horford is leaving, this fills your center position going forward with Lopez and Wright. You can then start Schroeder at point guard, and try to flip Horford for a wing to fill your wing spot.
For Memphis, this trade provides them with Splitter to try to bridge the gap with Gasol out, and you also dump Chalmers and Vince as you build toward your future, while adding a future wing in Bojan.
Three team trade: Pelicans, Lakers, and Nets
-Pelicans get: Russell and Joe Johnson
-Lakers get: Brook Lopez
-Nets get: Holiday, Hibbert, and Eric Gordon
The Pelicans would be putting another young developing piece in Russell next to Davis. The Nets would be dealing big for small to grab Holiday, despite injury concerns. The Lakers would be selling short on Russell, at least this early in his career. Hibbert, Gordon, and Johnson make financials work.
-Lakers and Nets: A derivation of the three teamer with the Pelicans — Brook Lopez for Hibbert and Deangelo Russell: if you want to rebuild, you do this as the Nets. You will not get better value for Brook. Guess we will see how irrational Byron Scott can make the Lakers.
–Suns and Nets: Joe and Bojan for Markieff Morris, Tyson Chandler, and Sonny Weems: The Nets would be taking Morris off Phoenix’s hands while seriously upgrading their talent level. The Suns may decline, as Morris is playing better under new head coach Earl Watson. Bojan, however, may be the best return they get in lieu of a first rounder, and the Nets would be taking Chandler off their hands. The get here for the Nets is Morris — Chandler and Weems are only here to make the money work.
Three team trade: Bulls, Raptors, and Nets
-Bulls get: Thad, Jack, Terrence Ross, and Delon Wright
-Raptors get: Gasol
-Nets get: Rose and Tony Snell
POPULAR RUMOR DIVISION:
Raptors and Nets two team trade: Young for Delon Wright, Patrick Patterson, and James Johnson
For the Raptors, the goal here is obvious. They have the fifth best record in the league and want to advance in the playoffs and contend, and this deal fills their one weak position. For the Nets, this would be a trade to add pieces for the future. Delon was just picked at the 18 spot in the first round of the draft, but is buried because the Raptors have Lowry and Cory Joseph. Patterson makes the money work and while he is struggling, can be a rotation piece. Johnson has not been in the rumors, but is a good wing defender who is persistently unhappy in Toronto. Would the Raptors make him the difference between getting the deal done or not?
Pistons and Nets two team trade: Bogdanovic and Jack for Jennings
Jennings is only arguably a starting NBA point guard, despite the popularity of his name: just run down the list of starters and ask yourself who he is better than. See how few you come up with. And with the Pistons having Jackson in tow, that creates some incentive to trade Jennings. Still, Jennings has been a good sixth man for them running the offense, so the Pistons will want value in return. Is Bogdanovic enough?
TAKE ON OTHERS’ MISTAKES DIVISION:
Heat and Nets: Dragic, McRoberts, Udrih, and Josh Richardson for Johnson and Bojan: the Nets would he hoping Dragic could become their future starting point guard, and that his poor tenure with Miami is a product of his fit, rather than the beginning of a sharp decline. The Heat would be seeking a mulligan on the Dragic contract, and renting Bojan as an asset so that they do get an asset in return.
Magic and Nets: Frye and Fournier for Bojan and Jack: The Nets would be, if they want Fournier, obtaining total control of his services as he would be their restricted free agent. Frye has fallen out of favor in Orlando, but is shooting the 3 as well as ever — he’s just buried in the rotation on a minutes basis. The Magic would be getting out from under his contract. Jack is involved to make the money work.
–Wizards and Nets: Thad for Humphries, Dudley, Temple, and a first and second rounder: The Wizards weakest poisition is the 4 spot and Young would fill it. Humphries and Dudley are decent reserves (both are underrated at this point as they shoot the 3), but the get here for Nets would be the picks.
-Nuggets and Nets: Lopez for Nurkic, Chandler, and Hickson. The Nets would be turning Lopez into a young piece to grow with, and a rotation player; Hickson is just there to make money match. The Nuggets likely reject this but perhaps seek to accelerate the timeline as they build around Mudiay.
–Rockets and Nets: Bogdanovic for KJ McDaniels and Sam Dekker: McDaniels is a high flier, while Dekker was a mid first round pick last year. Bojan can be a rotation player for the Rockets, while the Nets would get a little more asset heavy.
–Jazz and Nets: Bogdanovic for Jeff Withey and draft pick considerations: Withey has been a quality big for the Jazz with Gobert missing time this season. Still, Utah is far more set up front than at the guard spots, so perhaps they look to sell high on Withey and grab a wing. The Nets here should push for a first, but two seconds may get the job done.
-Kings and Nets: Thad Young for Willie Cauley Stein and Kosta Koufos: This would be seriously stupid short term thinking by the Kings . . . but you can never put that past them
Nets and Hornets two team trade: Lopez for Al Jefferson, Cody Zeller, and PJ Hairston
-The Hornets here would be turning Jefferson, whose seriously declining, into Lopez. The Nets would be leveraging that for two of the Hornets’ younger pieces who are not necessarily core pieces . . . especially Hairston, whose team option the Hornets declined. The value here is not that high, but this may be the type of deal the Nets can secure for Lopez at this point.