With the February 10 trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Nets have been more involved in rumors than they likely would have wanted. There are more moving pieces than you’d like for a contender, so don’t expect this juggernaut to be silent.
Here are Brooklyn’s three biggest priorities entering the final days of trade season…
Move Paul Millsap
The Nets and Millsap are in agreement: The 36-year-old will have a new NBA home come Feb. 10. Brooklyn signed the four-time All-Star this offseason in hopes of resurrecting another guard-skilled hybrid big like they did with Blake Griffin in 2020-21.
It hasn’t turned out successful, with Millsap falling out of the rotation after a stretch of poor play, inconsistent minutes, and being in COVID protocol. He’s at career lows in most statistical categories, namely shooting 37.6 percent from the field, but did have some good stretches.
This will likely end up a rather boring vet-for-vet swap. There are some logical choices like the Chicago Bulls, down close to all their bigs. A return to the Utah Jazz would be a nice full-circle moment, getting to compete for a title with the team that drafted him.
Explore the Nic Claxton market
Claxton has been a boon to the Nets when healthy, but he is a restricted free agent this summer who will likely demand lots of dough. They’re already paying an astronomical luxury tax bill and have other prospects blooming and in need of new contracts.
So it’s clear why Claxton’s name would float around as a potential trade candidate. What’s unclear is where the Nets stand on this, but they will do their due diligence and listen to what teams have to offer.
If the Oklahoma City Thunder get itchy on their mountain of picks and want to send some for Claxton, that’s something to consider. If the Nets can package him for a legitimate veteran who can be relied on in the postseason, you do it. It’s possible nothing of the sort gets discussed, but the Nets will be on the lookout.
Use a trade exception on an upgrade
As-is, the Nets are few people’s favorites to win it all. An upgrade is needed, whether it comes via the buyout market or trade deadline. One thing pushing the importance of the latter is Brooklyn’s pocketed trade exceptions.
Brooklyn is sure to use one around the draft or free agency, but can take full advantage of their stock in the coming weeks. Couple that with the need for additional help, and there’s reason to believe the Nets will be active.
Source: Yahoo Sports