The Brooklyn Nets are 8-28 and sit at the bottom of the eastern conference standings. Despite playing relatively well at home, and holding second half leads against some of the best teams in the league, they have been unable to convert the leads into wins. This isn’t breaking news, but the Nets aren’t making the playoffs and need to figure out where the franchise goes from here.
Injuries have played a part in the teams struggles and there are a lot of young players that need NBA reps in order for coaches to determine strengths and weaknesses. Caris LeVert and Isaiah Whitehead seem like good young players, so that’s a positive. As the Nets play out the rest of the season, GM Sean Marks will be holding workouts, tryouts, experiments, and roster moves. One roster move he should consider seriously is moving leading scorer and all-star center Brook Lopez.
Yes, Brook is the team’s best player and leads all NBA centers in made three pointers. Excellent points. But, what are his stats accomplishing for this team? His value may never be higher than it is right now. He has two years left on his contract and will make just under $22 million this season. With the cap spike, a team that is a playoff contender might want to part with draft picks and roll the dice on Brook Lopez as the missing piece. Or a team that is in the bottom third of the playoff race may want to acquire Lopez with the hopes that it will push them into a top 4 seed. Either way a Lopez move should net two first round draft picks. Given the Nets current and future draft situation, the team could use the additional picks.
Again, will any of these things work? Nobody can tell for sure. The one certainty Marks and Nets brass should know is that if you want to change the fortunes of your franchise you need assets. More importantly, you need the right mix of young, talented cheap assets. If the Nets can turn an expensive talented asset with a known ceiling for the chance to draft and develop two young assets with team friendly contracts and higher upsides; they should do it.