Are the Brooklyn Nets title contenders?
Rule any team with Kevin Durant out at your own risk, especially if Kyrie Irving is next to him as a secondary shot creator and scorer. But do they have the depth, physicality, and versatility to threaten teams such as Boston or Milwaukee? The Nets front office is trying to address all that at the trade deadline and is willing to put Patty Mills, Seth Curry and Joe Harris in an offer, reports Kevin O’Connor at The Ringer.
But Brooklyn isn’t being complacent ahead of the trade deadline. League sources say the Nets are one of the teams more actively looking for upgrades before the stretch run.
Joe Harris ($18.6 million), Seth Curry ($8.5 million), and Patty Mills ($6.5 million) could be involved in trades because of their short-term salaries and the fact that they’ve been playing lesser roles lately.
There are a lot of teams that could use shooting that may have interest.
What are the Nets seeking in return? A backup center to play behind Nic Claxton. Right now, that role is filled by Day'Ron Sharpe (when healthy) and Markieff Morris, which makes the Nets look shorthanded in a potential playoff series against Joel Embiid and the 76ers, Brook Lopez and the Bucks, and the big front line of the Cavaliers.
How about Naz Reid, Mo Bamba, Jarred Vanderbilt, or Kelly Olynyk? Vanderbilt’s youth and contract status give him more value than the other three names have, but all of them are more affordable options and could potentially be within the Nets’ range.
This is all speculation, but those are smart names to watch. Brooklyn has to be all-in to win now, there is a limited window with Durant and Irving, and the Nets should be willing to give up future draft picks and add salary for the right player.