The Nets are off to an 8-11 start to the season under new head coach Lionel Hollins, and while that’s still good enough to be in the final playoff position in the dreadful Eastern Conference, it’s far below the team’s internal expectations.
Evidently, those 19 games have provided enough of a sample size for the organization to have determined that it can’t win at the level it wants to with the current core crop of players.
Brooklyn is reportedly willing to shake things up significantly by dealing one or more of its stars.
The Brooklyn Nets have begun reaching out to teams to let them know that former All-Stars Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson are all available via trade, ESPN.com has learned.
League sources told ESPN.com that the Nets, off to a disappointing 8-11 start and looking to retool after last season’s $190 million roster filled with veterans couldn’t advance beyond the second round of the playoffs, have let it be known that they are prepared to move any of those franchise cornerstones in what would likely be separate deals if they came to fruition because of the high salaries each possess.
Sources say no trade is imminent involving any of the three players.
This isn’t necessarily a decision to blow it up and start rebuilding from scratch. The report states that the Nets hope to get enough talent in return that can help the team win now, and continue to compete for a spot in the playoffs this season.
The problem for Brooklyn is that all of these guys are high-salary players, with deals in place that are expensive enough to where other teams may have difficulty in finding the necessary pieces to match.
Deron Williams is under contract for two more years at more than $21 and $22 million respectively, Brook Lopez has a player option for next season worth more than $16 million, and Joe Johnson is on the books for almost $25 million next season.
Despite his contract situation, Williams may hold the highest value of the bunch. He’s looked much better this year following offseason ankle surgery; Johnson, meanwhile, has called out his team for being selfish, and Lopez has struggled to stay in his coach’s late-game rotations.