The Nets have been active in trade discussions with other teams since at least December, when it was reported that the team was willing to trade one or more of its high-priced superstars after a slower-than-expected start.
But Brooklyn has been playing better as of late, battling the Raptors on the road into overtime and then coming back to beat the Clippers at home at the buzzer. Deron Williams returned in that last one, too, after missing his team’s previous 11 games due to injury.
All of that has Nets GM Billy King willing to wait at least a little longer before pulling the trigger on a deal that would fundamentally change the makeup of the franchise.
Trade rumors have been swirling around the Nets for months, but general manager Billy King said Monday that the team likely won’t make a trade before the All-Star break.
“We’ve got to take a step back and let our guys play,” King said in a pregame broadcast on the Nets’ website. “So right now we’re going to see how we can finish up before the All-Star break, and we have a week after that, [until] the deadline, and if a deal makes sense, we’ll do it.” …
“Are we aggressively shopping our guys? No,” King said. “Have we had a lot of conversations with people? Yes. And that’s part of the job. We’re not making phone calls, phone calls are coming in and we’re evaluating things. But right now, I want to see this group play.”
The All-Star break begins Feb. 13, and the trade deadline is Feb. 19, with the Nets not having any games during that stretch.
But what this does say is that King, at least at this point, isn’t willing to just trade his better players for nothing more than salary cap relief. He wants assets in return that will begin to help the franchise rebuild, and if his team can string together some victories with its best players producing, that will only increase his chances of making a deal that would achieve the desired result.