Nets Trade Rumors: BKN Targeting 'Defensive-Oriented' Wing Player at Deadline

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMarch 21, 2021

Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks, right, talks to Ryan Gisriel, director of basketball operations, as they walk near the court as players warm up for an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, in New York. (Brad Penner/Pool Photo via AP)
Brad Penner/Associated Press

The Brooklyn Nets made the biggest move of the season by executing a four-team blockbuster trade for James Harden, but they're reportedly not done prior to Thursday's trade deadline as they look to move into first place in the Eastern Conference en route to a hopeful NBA Finals run.

"Brooklyn point guard Spencer Dinwiddie is sidelined with a torn ACL, but the Nets have explored deals for a defensive-oriented wing player," Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer wrote Sunday. "They had previously chased P.J. Tucker before the [Milwaukee] Bucks won the bidding war."

The Nets could use some help on the defensive end. Per Basketball Reference, Brooklyn is 25th in defensive rating and has allowed the fourth-most points per game this year.

Of course, the Nets have enough offensive firepower to simply outscore teams on most nights. The trio of Harden, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant has combined to average 82.5 points per game, led by KD's 29.0.

The Nets are also 28-14 despite Durant missing 23 of the Nets' games. Harden has played 28 of 42, and Irving has suited up for 30.

Despite all of that, the Nets are just one game behind the Philadelphia 76ers for first in the East. The third-place Bucks are hot on their heels, though, winning six straight to move to 27-14.

The Nets would certainly prefer to claim first in the East and avoid the possibility of playing Philadelphia or Milwaukee in the second round of the playoffs, so a move or two to improve the rotation before Thursday's deadline could be beneficial.

For now, the Nets are set to host the Washington Wizards on Sunday before embarking on a three-game road trip. Power forward Blake Griffin, whom the Nets signed March 8 after the Detroit Pistons bought out the six-time All-Star three days earlier, will be making his debut against Washington.