ESPN is reporting that the Brooklyn Nets have made all three of their Franchise cornerstone players, Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, and Brook Lopez, available for trades.
The sudden decision to blow up the Nets team in search of long term stability and young talent comes at a rather interesting time, where the season is still very much in control. Despite a losing record, the Nets are among the top eight least-worst teams in the pitiful Eastern conference and in line for a playoff spot. Much will change between now and playoff time, but it is worth something.
“Yet sources insist that the Nets haven’t abandoned their recent “win-now mentality” and aren’t merely looking to dump salary. Brooklyn’s hope, sources said, is to construct a deal or two that bring back sufficient talent that enables the Nets to remain a playoff team.”
That poses an interesting idea, that Brooklyn could not just be selling, but buying with what they have, no matter how hard those contracts are to swallow.
One interesting scenario of where one of these three could go was Joe Johnson to Charlotte for Lance Stephenson, Marvin Williams, and Bismack Biyombo, posed by Grantland’s Zach Lowe on Twitter.
This one is quite the crazy one, and I doubt Charlotte would do this deal without at least some young talent back or a draft pick, of which the Nets lack both of. Something along the lines of Johnson and rookie Markel Brown for Stephenson, Williams, and Biyombo would be something that both teams would need to consider. If Charlotte chooses to not give up on the Lance Stephenson project so soon, Gerald Henderson may be substitutable for Stephenson.
It would give Charlotte a go to scorer who is also one of the most clutch players in the league and rid them of two of what look like bad signings from the offseason. Charlotte teaming Kemba Walker, who has done a very good Joe-Johnson-Clutchness imitation job this season, and Al Jefferson with a lights out shooter could fix some of their offensive inefficiency issues.
Brooklyn, on the other hand, would bring in Stephenson to lead their young yet still developed talent charge, while Williams and Biyombo fill salary and provide expensive depth.
The only other possible destination for Johnson would be a return to Phoenix, which would be hard to work out contractually. Looking at this purely realistically, getting Johnson and his $23 million a year contract out of Brooklyn will be difficult. Perhaps too difficult.
The other two Nets? May be a little easier.
Dallas is sure to look at bringing in Deron Williams, who they have struck out many times before. He would fit well alongside Chandler Parsons, Monta Ellis, and Dirk Nowitzki on what is an already powerful offensive team. The Mavs could shed the deals of Devin Harris and/or Jameer Nelson / Raymond Felton.
The heavier pursuer of Deron Williams may get to him first, though. Who is this pursuer? Likely Sacramento.
One trade that could work is Derrick Williams, Jason Thompson, and Ben McLemore for Deron Williams and a second rounder.
While the Kings would hate giving up on the young talent that is McLemore, the win now possibilities of acquiring Deron Williams greatly outweigh the future benefits of McLemore’s shaky development, especially with the Kings’ early success this year.
Williams will have his suitors, no doubt. How many are willing to pull the trigger is another question.
Brook Lopez will be the easiest Net to shop, as his youth still gives him plenty of value, despite his recent injury-heavy past.
The Spurs, Lakers, and Thunder should all be interested in the lanky center. The Thunder need to re-up for their playoff push, while San Antonio could use a better answer at center than Tiago Splitter, who hasn’t lived up to his 2013 playoff run performance. The Lakers need to bring in all the talent they can to get Kobe set up for some kind of success next season.
On the topic of Dion Waiters rumors, ESPN has reported of Cleveland’s desire to trade him for a solid big man, such as Kosta Koufos of the Denver Nuggets.
While that is a possibility, a lot of other talent hungry teams looking to shake things up could offer solid deals for the disgruntled shooting guard. One possibility is a swap with fellow conference member New York Knicks, where Cleveland ships Waiters in exchange for veteran center Samuel Dalembert.
This gets Cleveland their rim-protector, and it gets NY a talented shooting guard despite the crowding at the position. New York does this out of desperation here, and if anything gets them a solid trade chip later in the year. Waiters could easily be a repackaged holiday gift around the trade deadline.
Another important rumor that surfaced recently is that Carmelo Anthony could find a way wiggle his way out of the disaster that is the New York Knicks. The New York Post’s Marc Berman reported the following:
“Five months after swearing his allegiance to New York and signing a five-year, $124 million contract, sources told The Post the All-Star forward would be open to dropping his no-trade clause if team president Phil Jackson strikes a deal with a team Anthony would like to play for. …
For now, Anthony has no desire to be traded, but his willingness to consider giving up the no-trade clause shows how frustrated he has become with the Knicks’ historically bad start to the season.”
While the idea of Melo jumping ship so early in the season is questionable, it is definitely possible. It is easy to see that the Knicks are going nowhere fast this year, and there isn’t much to convince anyone that the future years will be any better.
Melo would need to waive his no-trade clause, and that would only happen if the right contender came calling with the right deal.
There are very few contenders that have the will to break up their core or change it by adding a new primary scorer and also have the means to do so. Melo going anywhere other than New York is unlikely due to both lack of interest by the Knicks and their would-be trade partners.
Finally, there is one real trade to report on. According to NBA.com, the Nets and Sixers finally got a deal done for Andrei Kirilenko, exchanging him, Jorge Gutierrez, a 2020 second round pick, and the right to swap second round picks in 2018 for the Sixers’ Brandon Davies.
Not a huge deal here, as Philly can absorb Kirilenko’s contract and the Nets get another young prospect to ride the bench.
That’s about all there is to recap right now other than the occasional sputtering. Stay tuned for more NBA rumors from ISH.