This article starts a series of articles considering potential trades the Nets can make around the league. Going in alphabetical order by city, this article only lists trades with Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, and Cleveland — other cities will come in later articles.
Before diving into the trades, here is a brief note on the Nets players, as it pertains to their trade value
–LeVert and Allen are most definitely staying put, as the two best two way players on the team. Same goes for Kurucs and Musa. The Nets are not at a stage where they will look to deal young, cheap talent for veteran upgrades. Lastly, Dinwiddie cannot be dealt by CBA rules before June 13, due to signing his extension.
–Russell is a good player, but with the way the Nets prioritize Dinwiddie in fourth quarters, the Nets clearly are not sold on him as a cornerstone. For the right deal, I think Nets would deal him. With that said, a team set at point guard will not want Russell for obvious reasons (think Damian Lillard). Nor will a team grooming a kid as the starter, as the presence of Russell would be a source of pressure for the kid. This limits the market.
–Harris is a solid player. He fits on nearly any team because of his elite shooting. And unlike Russell, his presence is not going to be a source of pressure on a young kid being groomed as the starter because he does not have the same magnitude. There should be a market for Harris, but the Nets should have a high price point. Especially when he can be aggregated with Dinwiddie in packages next summer and year, for legitimate players making near $20 million.
–Davis likely has some value, although likely not a first rounder. Two second rounders likely causes the Nets to bite. If the market is only one second rounder, I am not sure the Nets value that over the ability to bring Davis back next summer.
–the rest of the roster: for the rest, the Nets might not be able to fetch anything. As Oubre’s minimal value reflected, and Payton’s did last year, impending RFA’s hold barely any trade value. RHJ is worse than both players; it is hard to see him having real value. As for the others (remember: Carroll’s shooting has been poor, he is far worse than say, Trevor Ariza), one must remember that Tyson Chandler, Andrew Bogut, Ersan Ilyasova, and Marco Belinelli have been added by teams the last two years on a buyout market, for free. Why, as another team, would you pay in assets to add pieces like Carroll or Dudley, when such players are available for free? From their remaining players, fans should expect the Nets to get nothing, and be pleasantly surprised if the Nets get anything.
With that, on to the potential trades (listed in significance order)
NETS AND HAWKS:
-Nets get: Taurean Prince
-Hawks get: the Nuggets’ 2019 first round pick
Prince is an interesting wing under cost control through 2020, and the Nets need more talented young wings. You need a lot of talented two way wings to have success today. The Nets’ best wing is Joe Harris — he simply cannot be the best wing on a good team. Prince’s per 36 numbers are good. And he was a very good defender as a rookie despite falling off since; maybe Atkinson can restore him to what he was defensively. Prince is likely worth more than the Nuggets’ pick, which should fall in the 20’s. For Atlanta, however, they are at the early juncture of a rebuild where cost controlled young players matters above all else. This pick gives them one through 2023, as opposed to paying Prince in 2020. And if wait to act on a Prince deal next year — as noted above with Payton, RHJ, and Oubre — they will get less than this.
The Hawks may want more for Prince. But this is a realistic shot by the Nets at a talented, still cheap wing.
NETS AND CAVS:
-Nets get: Alec Burke and Rodney Hood
-Cavs get: Allen Crabbe, Nets 2019 second rounder (via NYK), and Nets 2020 second rounder (via DEN)
This trade could not occur until January 28, 2019, the first date on which Burke can be aggregated in a deal with other players. For the Cavs the logic is simple: rent cap space next year, with the charge being assets (Burke and Hood expire). The Cavs could want a first rounder, but that is where the Nets likely would and should balk. In a potential counter, the Cavs could request that instead of Burke, the Nets take on John Henson’s $10.5 million cap hit next year. I do not anticipate Dellavedova to be dealt in this manner because the Cavs seem to be bringing back the 2016 band as a rallying cry for their fans.
I would not do a deal like this – dumping assets to offload Crabbe – unless a big free agency strike is on deck, and I need Crabbe off the books to get it done. Otherwise, the Nets would, in effect, be dealing picks for nothing.
But if substantial free agency scenarios come about which require Crabbe to be offloaded this type of trade is in the toolbox.
NETS AND HORNETS:
-Nets get: Bismack Biyombo and a 2019 first round pick
-Hornets get: Allen Crabbe
This is another way the Nets can use Crabbe — take on an even worse contract in exchange for an asset.
The Hornets are hellbent on making the playoffs, to sell Kemba Walker on Charlotte. They need to win to do that. In addition, the Hornets, if Biyombo, Marvin Williams, and MKG opt in, do not have cap space next summer, with Kemba’s cap hold. Their only real shot an an upgrade, now or in the summer, is the trade market. And while the Hornets want to, apparently (per Woj on the Woj Lowe show from Saturday) improve, and avoid taking back money, and while they likely want to keep their first in case Kemba leaves, at some point, something has to give.
Biyombo is buried on Charlotte’s bench. Yes, Crabbe is not good. But he provides SOME value on the court; Biyombo provides none, and they’ll be hard pressed to turn Biyombo into a better player.
As for the first? That is the charge for the Nets replacing someone who can play a little with someone who cannot play at all (and only makes $1.5 million less. The Hornets might propose two seconds instead, but Biyombo is so awful that the Nets should hold strong.
I think the Hornets balk at dealing their first round pick. But the Nets need to be in the market for picks, and Charlotte, in desperate win now mode, is a team that might part with some.
NETS AND HORNETS, PART TWO:
-Nets get: Tony Parker, Dwayne Bacon, and a 2019 first round pick
-Hornets get: Joe Harris
The logic here is similar to the above. Taking advantage of Charlotte’s desperation to improve by snagging their first round pick. Harris is a solid player. He would help Kemba tremendously this year and going forward.
Harris is a nice player. But if the Nets can turn him into a mid round first, given the work they did with LeVert and Allen in the mid to late first round, the upside of the pick warrants doing the deal. The Nets need cornerstones, more cheap talent, and more young talent with explosive potential. Harris, while solid, does not fit any of those bills.
The Nets do not HAVE to capitalize on player development by paying the players they develop. If the Nets do this deal, it means they signed Harris as a minimum player from the scrap bin, and, through player development, turned the minimum exception into a first round pick. That represents capitalizing on development — increasing the value of assets, then flipping them at the increased value.
I think the Hornets reject this deal, but it is worth trying to pry their first round pick.
NETS AND BULLS:
-Nets get: Jabari Parker and a 2020 second round pick
-Bulls get: Allen Crabbe
No need to belabor this one. The Bulls removed Parker from their rotation and want him gone. This offers the get out of jail card they apparently feel they need.
Really, in this type of deal, the Bulls, NOT the Nets, should be getting an asset. So if the Bulls are normal, there is nothing here.
My take is simple: if the Bulls want an asset to take Crabbe on, the Nets should not do a deal unless — as with Biyombo above — the Nets have a strike lined up in free agency. Parker is useless, just like Biyombo.
However, if the Bulls are dumb enough to sacrifice a small asset to offload Parker for Crabbe, the Nets should jump on it. And they just might be. The Bulls, under GarPax, are obsessed with winning the PR battle at all costs. They also do not value second round picks, often throwing them away to save money or to win PR battles. The Bulls likely think that they HAVE to get rid of Parker now, to shut up the talk about him being buried on their bench. They just might be dumb enough to swap Parker for Crabbe, and grease the skids by attaching a second round pick. The Bulls would see it as winning the headline by ending the Parker talk, and the second round pick not mattering because second round picks do not matter to them.
I would love it.
NETS AND CELTICS:
-Nets get: Dan Theis and Brad Wanamaker
-Celtics get: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
The RHJ market is likely thin, if if even exists. The Nets might look to trade him because they simply cannot pay too many players going forward and have the flexibility they need to import high end talent (something they need to do — they do not have the talent in house that is necessary to build a winner).
Theis is a big who can shoot the ball, and fits the Nets better than RHJ. Wanamaker? He is only here to match salaries for CBA compliance.
The Nets would likely prefer a second round pick for RHJ for the cost control. And I think the Celtics reject this deal, although RHJ provides another wing to throw at Kawhi LeBron and Giannis deep in the playoffs. But this is something.