The Brooklyn Nets are in a hotly-contested race for at least the fourth seed in the loaded Eastern Conference. Before the injury to Kevin Durant, they were, at one point, just one game behind the Boston Celtics for the best record in their conference.
Durant’s absence due to an MCL sprain has only highlighted the loopholes on their roster. With the trade deadline just a few days away, GM Sean Marks could make a move to upgrade the roster. All he has to do is tinker a little bit and he can plug the holes that could sink the Nets as the battle heats up.
Here are three potential moves that could make the Brooklyn Nets more balanced and more formidable:
#3. Trade Seth Curry and Day’Ron Sharpe for Mo Bamba of the Orlando Magic
The Brooklyn Nets and the Orlando Magic could help each other heading into the NBA’s trade deadline next month. Brooklyn lacks another interior presence outside of Nic Claxton, who’s been terrific, particularly over the past two months.
Claxton, however, needs a backup with more heft and strength to take on the likes of Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bam Adebayo. Trading for the Magic’s Mo Bamba could help shore up their thin frontcourt.
Orlando, meanwhile, could use more shooting from the perimeter. The Magic’s best guards such as Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz and RJ Hampton aren’t consistently good from behind the arc. Getting Seth Curry’s 43.3% from the clip from behind the arc could help unclog the lane for the bigs to operate.
Bamba has become Orlando’s third-string center with the emergence of Bol Bol, one of the NBA’s most unique and intriguing players. He gets more playing time in Brooklyn while Curry offers superb outside shooting to complement Paolo Banchero and Orlando’s bevy of big men.
The Brooklyn Nets and the Orlando Magic are in a win-win situation with such a trade.
#2. Trade Seth Curry and the 2023 first-round pick for the Chicago Bulls’ Alex Caruso
The Chicago Bulls are scheduled to pay DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, Nikola Vucevic, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso $114.8 million this season. They’re only 22-26 for the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference.
If the Bulls decide to blow up the roster, Caruso might be a name worth pursuing. Caruso still has three years left on his contract, including this season at roughly just $9 million per season.
More importantly, he solves the Brooklyn Nets’ perimeter defensive woes. Caruso is a defensive whiz the Nets could desperately need in the playoffs.
Royce O’Neale doesn’t have the speed to chase around the league’s best, fastest and shiftiest playmakers. Caruso answers that and more.
The Chicago Bulls reportedly want two first-round picks for the former LA Lakers stalwart. Seth Curry and a first-rounder might convince them. Curry is on an expiring $8 million deal, which is perfect if they want to revamp the roster. Getting a first-round pick next season is another gem worth going after.
After the Brooklyn Nets were swept by the Boston Celtics, Kevin Durant noted the Cs’ size and length. Having Alex Caruso in there solves that plus, he’s 38.7% from 3-point distance, which is respectable enough.
#1. Brooklyn Nets trade Joe Harris and 2023 first-round pick for Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers were supposed to be tanking this season, but Tyrese Haliburton changed the team’s trajectory. With Haliburton injured, the Pacers look lost and on track to be where they are thought to be heading into the season.
Myles Turner is in the last year of a four-year, $80 million deal and will walk away as an unrestricted free agent next season. Indiana is reportedly willing to talk about the big man for the right price.
Joe Harris and a 2023 first-round pick might be an interesting proposition for them. Harris adds another deep threat to the team, while the lottery pick is a big boost to how the Pacers will try to reconstruct the team.
Turner, on the other hand, can upgrade the Brooklyn Nets’ interior defense and rebounding. Brooklyn’s already solid defense will have even more teeth with the two-time blocks champion in the backline.
The most intriguing part of Turner’s game with the Nets is his ability to consistently hit from behind the arc. He’s hitting 39.5% from deep, which will unlock another layer on offense.
Nic Claxton is a superb pick-and-roll player. Turner can force defenses into an even more difficult situation with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving running plays.
Turner could be a one-year-rental, but if he’s enough to cover the Brooklyn Nets’ most obvious deficiencies, he may be worth the prize.