Injuries were the real enemy of the Nets, as their big three played a limited amount of time together. In the end, it seemed like Kevin Durant was the only player that showed up to the playoffs, as Kyrie Irving was dealing with an injury, and James Harden was less than efficient once he returned.
Brooklyn’s starting lineup will be fine though next year, there is no doubt about that. With more time to work together over this coming up offseason, the Nets should be back in business next year. What this team is missing though is defense, and consistent depth off of the bench. Additionally, they didn’t have the best inside presence this year either, as DeAndre Jordan was written out of the lineup.
Their goal should be to remove the duds and replace them with consistent depth. The best-case scenario would be to acquire a center who can score and a defensive specialist. With that said, here are two trades the Nets must consider to improve the roster for next year.
DeAndre Jordan, 2021 first-round pick for Marvin Bagley
DeAndre Jordan turned out to be a dud when many believed he was in a perfect situation to get back to his normal self. You would think he would have dominated the boards and been a force on defense to help this Nets team succeed. Instead, he lost playing time Blake Griffin and Steve Nash adjusted the scheme that removed Jordan completely. The lack of help in the paint was apparent against the Bucks, as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez did whatever they wanted down low.
There were some rumors during the regular season with Marvin Bagley III’s displeasure with the Sacramento Kings. If those rumors were true, this could be a perfect opportunity for the Kings to get back a first-round pick for him. Bagley averaged 14.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, which would be more than enough for the Nets to upgrade their post scoring.
The deal works financially, and with the Kings still in rebuild mode, Jordan’s contract is still cheap enough to where it won’t negatively affect them over the next few years. The Nets upgrade the center position, while the Kings gain a first-round pick and a viable backup center.
Joe Harris and Tyler Johnson for Robert Covington and Zach Collins
For this deal to go through, there will have to be some re-signs first. Tyler Johnson and Zach Collins are both due to hit free agency. Johnson will likely re-sign to a relatively cheap deal, while Collins is a restricted free agent. The real meat and potatoes of this trade though consist of Joe Harris and Robert Covington. Harris didn’t produce like the Nets were hoping he would during the playoffs, while Covington is a high-end trade piece for the Portland Trail Balzers.
In this trade, Portland would receive an elite three-point shooter. There are rumors that CJ McCollum could be traded for someone like Ben Simmons. If that comes to fruition, the Trail Blazers would no longer need Robert Covington, and Harris would provide solid three-point shooting to replace McCollum. As for the Nets, they’d bring in a guy who would vastly improve their defense. He can play small and power forward, adding some versatility to the roster. Acquiring Zach Collins could be an underrated move as well, as a change of scenery could be exactly what he needs to get his career back on track.