Nets' Last-Minute Trade Targets Before 2021 NBA Deadline

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 23, 2021

Nets' Last-Minute Trade Targets Before 2021 NBA Deadline

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    Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

    The Brooklyn Nets are a fascinating team to watch at all times.

    They remain as interesting as ever leading up to Thursday's NBA trade deadline.

    Their best trade chip might be out for the season (Spencer Dinwiddie), and they've already unloaded their asset collection for a star (James Harden), but they might have the wiggle room for one more significant move. Given their place in the hoops world's hierarchy, any move they make has the potential to reverberate across the Association.

    If the Nets are busy this week, these are three names who could be on the shopping list.

Avery Bradley, Miami Heat

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    Jeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press

    Brooklyn's defense is in bad enough shape that it has kicked the tires on Andre Roberson and Iman Shumpert. Neither were the answer.

    Could Avery Bradley fill the void? It's at least worth a shot.

    He's barely been healthy this season (10 appearances so far) and is limited in what kind of matchups he can handle by his 6'3", 180-pound frame. But when he's right, he's about as disruptive as it gets on the defensive end. He's also more than capable of supporting stars as a floor-spacer (career 36.5 percent from three).

    Now, it's worth questioning whether the Heat would send a potential contributor to another team fighting for Eastern Conference supremacy, but there's enough of a backcourt glut in Miami that "several contenders" have come calling about Bradley, per The Athletic's Shams Charania. If the Nets aren't one of those teams already, they should be reaching out sooner than later.

Mason Plumlee, Detroit Pistons

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    DeAndre Jordan gives the Nets an above-the-rim presence, and Blake Griffin offers intriguing playmaking ability for a big man.

    Mason Plumlee has both elements in his arsenal. He also might have the attention of Brooklyn's front office, as The Athletic's James L. Edwards III reported, "there have been some whispers around the league surrounding the Nets' interest in Plumlee."

    Brooklyn might need to give some deadline attention to the center spot. There's only so much it can ask out of unproven sophomore Nicolas Claxton, especially in a championship race. And while Andre Drummond would make all kinds of sense on the buyout market, there are no guarantees he reaches that point or picks the Nets over the Los Angeles Lakers if he does.

    Plumlee, who played his first two NBA seasons in Brooklyn, could give this spot some stability. He's active on the glass, good around the rim and a quietly clever creator. He also might be available, as the rebuilding Pistons presumably would like to clear the runway for intriguing rookie Isaiah Stewart.

Thaddeus Young, Chicago Bulls

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Thaddeus Young is either at the max end of Brooklyn's budget or somewhere beyond it. There isn't even clarity as to whether the Chicago Bulls would consider moving him, and he'd only get to Brooklyn if the Bulls were interested in Spencer Dinwiddie's Bird rights—and whatever else they could extract from the Nets.

    But why couldn't those things be true?

    Young is a tremendous role player, but as a 32-year-old, non-star, he'd be a strange player for a non-contender like Chicago to make off-limits. On the Dinwiddie front, the Bulls could use more shooting and shot-creation in their backcourt, and they'd have enough perimeter minutes to feed him, Zach LaVine and Coby White.

    As for Young, a former Net, he'd be an effortless fit in Brooklyn. He could turbo-charge the second unit with points, passing and rebounds, then supplement the closing lineup as a do-it-all glue guy. He also might prove invaluable for defensive duty on Giannis Antetokounmpo should the Nets lock horns with the Milwaukee Bucks in the postseason.


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