2 players who would be perfect trade targets for the Nets
The Brooklyn Nets are desperately trying to keep the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. But they have lost four games in a row and are now just 1.5 games ahead of the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic. While the Nets were initially holding up well despite a number of key injuries (Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert), their offense cratered in December as part of these struggles.
Brooklyn’s play of late has proven that the roster has some weaknesses that should be addressed before the Feb. 6 trade deadline. In order to better their chances at a playoff run this spring, making a trade will be key.
Especially with the uncertainty surrounding Kyrie Irving’s return to the lineup.
Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson implemented a pace-and-space style when he took over for the 2016-17 season. Brooklyn has been playing fast and firing up 3s ever since, and the club is putting up the sixth-most triples per game with 37.5.
But with a collective percentage of just 33.3 from 3-point range, the Nets own the third-worst in the league percentage-wise. New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard JJ Redick would provide instant aid as a long-range gunner if the Nets were able to acquire him. As a Pelican in 2019-20, Redick is putting up 15.3 points per game while converting on 45.2 percent of his treys.
Redick would be a valuable acquisition for beyond just this 2019-20 season. The veteran is under contract for 2020-21, so when Durant and Irving are both back at full strength, his aptitude when it comes to moving without the ball would provide him with a plethora of open looks because of all the attention the stars would receive.
The Pelicans reportedly haven’t been all that interested in trading Redick, and that’s likely even more true now the club is starting to get hot. Still, the Nets should check in and see if he’s available.
Brooklyn is currently in dire need of a playmaking guard that can be relied upon as a ball handler. Besides Spencer Dinwiddie — who has been performing at an All-Star caliber level in Irving’s absence — the Nets own no other point guards in their rotation. While they boast quite a few versatile wings such as Taurean Prince, Rodions Kurucs, and Joe Harris, none have played as a floor general at any level.
Morris is an exception. The 6’2″ Michigan native has proven over the course of his relatively short pro career that he can make plays for himself and others. It’s a skill that cannot be undervalued. His role has diminished slightly on the Denver Nuggets since the 2018-19 campaign, with his minutes per game dropping from 24.0 to 17.6. Although Morris’ 5-to-1 assist to turnover ratio this season is evidence that he possesses the talent needed to efficiently contribute to Brooklyn’s offense with the ball in his hands.
The Nets could benefit from adding a proven bench scorer who can create his own shot to bolster the second unit. When the playoffs begin, the game naturally slows down. Possessing reliable offensive threats who can create in isolation will be key if Brooklyn wants to pull off a first-round upset.
Monte Morris is a low-cost trade option for the organization if they are wishing to add some shot-makers to complement Irving, Dinwiddie, and Caris LeVert.