Nets' Complete Guide to 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 11, 2021

Nets' Complete Guide to 2021 NBA Trade Deadline

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    Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

    The best offense in basketball is now even more explosive.

    The Brooklyn Nets didn't reshape the NBA landscape when they added Blake Griffin in the way they did upon landing James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. But their latest big-name arrival should nevertheless increase the potency of what was already a ferocious attack.

    "Blake makes them even more dynamic offensively because he's a guy they can give the ball to and run off-ball stuff for their Big Three because of his passing," a scout told B/R's Jason Dumas. "He is also a great pick-and-roll partner because he can stretch the floor and make plays."

    It's no secret the Nets plan to overwhelm their opponents with offense, and with their level of firepower, who could blame them?

    But they might still seek out some level of defensive resistance between now and the March 25 NBA trade deadline. That or find even more rocket fuel for that attack.

Needs

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    The All-Star Game thinks the Nets don't play enough defense.

    The average Brooklyn opponent breezes to 116.1 points a night on 46.7/36.7/78.0 shooting. The Nets have surrendered at least 120 points 16 occasions and 140-plus in three games, only one of which went to overtime.

    This is, to a certain degree, by design. The Nets weren't exactly thinking defense when they paired Durant and Irving. Or when they hired Steve Nash as head coach and Mike D'Antoni to his staff. Or when they traded for Harden. Or when they signed Griffin. You get the idea.

    At some point, the Nets will need to make stops, and they can't expect Bruce Brown and DeAndre Jordan to be solely responsible.

    Beyond that, Griffin's addition shouldn't take Brooklyn out of the big man market. The Nets lost an interior anchor when they moved Jarrett Allen in the Harden trade, and even at his best, Griffin was never labeled as such.

Assets

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    The Nets paid a massive premium to get Harden, which makes sense considering he's James Freakin' Harden. But the Beard's arrival nearly emptied the cupboards in Brooklyn.

    The Nets' best asset is likely the Bird rights that would come attached to Spencer Dinwiddie. He suffered a partial ACL tear in late December that could cost him the rest of this season. Still, several teams have pursued him, per The Athletic's Shams Charania, to gain that advantage heading into Dinwiddie's upcoming free-agency venture.

    The Nets might get a decent return for an up-and-comer like Bruce Brown or Nicolas Claxton, but they might be better off keeping both. They are both in the rotation, and Brown has been a starter over the past month.

    There isn't much else to work with. The Nets could shop Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot or Tyler Johnson, but it's hard to imagine there would be much interest. Brooklyn can't trade a first-round pick, but it does have a few second-rounders to throw around, including the Atlanta Hawks' 2021 second and its own for 2022.

Potential Targets

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    Michael Wyke/Associated Press

    The Nets made their major renovations already. Now, they are in the supplemental phase of their redesign.

    Don't expect more splashes in other words. Aaron Gordon might be more than the Nets can get. Rudy Gay, too. That gives you a good sense of Brooklyn's budget restrictions.

    Who might actually fit?

    The Nets are among the win-now shoppers with eyes on P.J. Tucker, per Charania. Tucker would certainly beef up the defense, and he's already proved he knows how to play alongside Harden. Given the level of interest from contenders, though, it's fair to wonder whether the Nets could afford him.

    Low-maintenance veterans like JaVale McGee and former Net Garrett Temple might be as good as it gets. But who knows, maybe the buyout market will break in Brooklyn's favor again and bring Andre Drummond to town.

                               

    Statistics used courtesy of Basketball Reference and NBA.com. Salary information obtained via Basketball Insiders.

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