The Brooklyn Nets find themselves plummeting in the standings after losing 17 of their last 22 games. With the trade deadline under two weeks away, rumors are swirling around this team as they have a great opportunity to brighten their own future while also significantly impacting the 2024 NBA Playoffs.
The question is not if the Nets should be active at the deadline, but just how aggressive they should be as they find themself nine games under .500 and currently outside of the play-in game. A lot of uncertainty in the near future surrounds this team, and some radical changes might be the best plan to rapidly improve the team.
Three players have been talked about the most in trade rumors: Dorian Finney-Smith, Royce O’Neale and Spencer Dinwiddie.
Brooklyn Nets Likely on the Move: Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale
The Nets are open to moving both veteran wings. pic.twitter.com/HHS5zddUPI
— Evan Sidery (@esidery) January 25, 2024
I'd love it if the Mavs could trade that last first-round pick to the Nets for Dorian Finney-Smith back. Tonight was another one of those "they're one big wing short" nights. That's the last thing they need. If they get one I think they can win the whole thing.
— Sam Quinn (@SamQuinnCBS) January 23, 2024
Teams like the Kings, Mavs and Suns have shown interest in Royce O’Neale, all of whom have aspirations of making deep playoff runs come May and June. Adding a 3-and-D wing at the deadline could make all the difference, and the Nets are currently one of the teams in control of the pieces those types of teams desperately need.
O’Neale is an expiring contract, making him the cheaper of the two options to potentially acquire. The asking price for Finney-Smith, per a league source, is two first-round picks. The Lakers appear to be interested in improving their roster at the deadline, and may have their eyes on DFS. The Nets should get as much as they could in draft capital for both players in an attempt to expedite the remake of the roster.
Spencer Dinwiddie Could Be Part of a Brooklyn Nets’ 3-Team Trade
ESPN Lakers Trade Idea:
– Dejounte Murray
– Lakers 29’ First
— 🦉 Lakers Vino (@VinoUncorked) January 29, 2024
Dinwiddie is in the last year of his contract just like O’Neale, but getting D’Angelo Russell back in a potential trade instead of draft capital feels like a trade the Nets should not do. Dinwiddie is a big guard who adds versatility to any team who is on, but looking to get future assets back in any of these deals is key.
Mikal Bridges and Nic Claxton Could Bring the Brooklyn Nets a Haul
ESPN puts out a hypothetical trade package for Brooklyn Nets Mikal Bridges. pic.twitter.com/Xa6dkiaJCU
— NetsKingdom 👑🗽 (@NetsKingdomAJ) January 29, 2024
While trading Bridges is one end of the extreme for the Nets I was not referring to, I think the conversation should be had internally for about 15 minutes. It is one path the Nets could consider, but Bridges’ value is not going anywhere and he is on a great contract for two seasons after this one. Bridges is still a piece that the next version of this Nets team could be built around.
Claxton’s contract expires after this season and the Nets need to decide now if they are going to commit at least north of $20 million a year to him. If the answer to that question is anything besides a firm “yes” then Claxton could quickly become a player to watch as the NBA’s February 8 trade deadline approaches.