BIG Potential Brooklyn Nets Trade Targets

Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol


Recently, Brooklyn Nets fans have clamored to fill what seems like the team’s #1 weakness: the need for a power forward/big man that can defend and score. As endearing as Reggie Evans‘ beard is, his lack of an offensive game has begun to wear on some folks, and it’s clear he’s best suited coming off the bench to provide energy in the second unit. Mirza Teletovic & Kris Humphries both have had hot & cold stretches all season.

But it isn’t that easy. Nets GM Billy King can’t just pick a great power forward off the Great Power Forward Tree, and boom, all the problems are fixed and the Nets cruise their way to championship behind their big man tandem of Brook Lopez and Great Power Forward. But similarly, there’s no question that there are big men out there that the Nets can at least make a phone call about.

So we’re going roundtable-style at The Brooklyn Game: our writers & analysts look at five potentially available power forwards (and the one center that we have to look at, because, well, we have to), how they fit with Brooklyn, and how realistic an acquisition is.


Start here: Paul Millsap


  1. Strange comments by Sandy and John. First, Al Jefferson would be about the worst fit next to Lopez: he’s slow, plodding, plays zero defense, and needs the ball on the block. In regards to John, Millsap can stretch the floor with his jump shot and run the PnR, but he’s not your prototypical back to the basket big man. Millsap is also more available than Jefferson because he’s been vocal about not getting enough playing time.

  2. The Nets have to go hard after KG, with Millsap being the clear backup. It is unlikely that the Celtics would trade Garnett within division, but the Nets do have a number of assets that could be intriguing to Boston: picks, young players like Brooks, Taylor, and Bogdanovic, and the ability to absorb large sums of salary.

    Not sure where this myth comes from that the Nets couldn’t help Boston relieve salary. Humphries, Brooks, and Evans would be enough to bring back Garnett + Bass. Substitute Evans for Mirza and the Nets could absorb Green’s contract instead of Bass’.

    1. But there Celtics are not taking back Marshon Brooks, Kris Dumphries, and Reggie Evans for Brandon Bass and Kevin freakin Garnett. Just because he’s 36 doesn’t mean he has no value.

      1. I doubt the Celtics get much better of an offer, but maybe I’m wrong. I find it unlikely that the Nets can land any targets on this list. However, in Billy and Bobby we trust. Our trade chips would likely have more value if Johnson/Carlisemo made an effort to develop our young talent.

  3. I agree, I think there are some odd comments. Jefferson/Lopez upfront, you think Brooklyn matches up poorly with fast-paced teams now? Brook Lopez is actually a good defender, to whoever said he wasn’t.

    In any event, trade scenario stories are always fun, but I think here it’s merely fantasy. I don’t think the Nets have the chips to acquire any of these pieces. Josh “Max Money” Smith is certainly an enticing talent but for who? Honestly the Nets don’t really have a lot of assets. They have Hump’s contract, and some teams want to players in the 2014 FA market, so that could help. We all love MarShon but if you’re an option behind Jerry Stackhouse, that’s not great value. Tyshawn Taylor is entertaining on Twitter at times, but that’s his greatest value currently. Toko, lighting up the D League doesn’t ring my bell.

    Bargnani could actually be enticing to stretch the floor and allow D Will space to operate, and Wallace could help out on D, or he could even spell Wallace with Lopez and Evans on the floor.

    I’d love love love KG for multiple reasons (offense, defense, stick it to Carmelo, he and Evans would be the craziest looking frontcourt in the league) but I’m not convinced Boston needs to blow it up. I think if they get Calderon this season.

    1. If they get Calderon, they can still be a tough out. Sullinger is highly sought after. I’d think teams would be kicking down the door for KG and could offer more than Hump.

        1. I didn’t say contenders, but would be a tough out. So if the Nets (or Knicks for that matter) get the 2 seed and Boston is the 7 seed, you don’t think they’d be at least a little nervous about an upset? I think even Miami would be a little nervous. You know Boston will take it to another level in the playoffs. And they could even trade Sullinger for one of the aforementioned names.

          I think Danny Ainge would be wise to listen to offers, but unless he’s bowled over, I wouldn’t trade Garnett, especially not for Hump. I think the Nets stand pat, make a minor move or take a bad contract this trade deadline.

          1. Yes, Celtics are not taking Hump for KG. Not happening.

            But what makes you think that a Celtic team that couldn’t even get over .500 with RONDO, will suddenly “turn it on” and be threats to Miami with the addition of Jose Calderon.

            I don’t see them going for a quick fix, simply because it won’t work. And if they do, they are dumb. There’s only one Rondo, he is one of the best PG’s in the league. Getting anyone not named Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul or Deron Williams is NOT going to improve the Celtics.

            1. True, rondo is one of the best but if the C’s could turn Sullinger/Green into Josh Smith or Al Jefferson, et al,, then they can be a threat with a Calderon, who isn’t a slouch. I’d love for them to trade him to BK but saying that the Celtics don’t have to make a dump move. If they don’t get something of considerable value for Garnett, like Danny Granger , I’d keep him.

            2. It’s not such an outlandish statement that the Celts could be better with Calderon than Rondo. Remember, Celtics have been worse on offense and defense this season with Rondo on the court. Yes, he’s one of the best passers in the game. But the problem with Rondo will always be his inability to score consistently. Rondo needs a team built around his style to be effective (or he needs to join another team with three future HOF’s again).

              1. Actually, it is an outlandish statement to say the Celtics would be better with Calderon than Rondo. You can ask any analyst, writer, coach, ect. and they will all say the same thing.

                1. Actually, not so outlandish. It’s a fair point. For all the “Rondo is an All-Star hype (which the numbers seem to back up), he’s a poor fit for a dismal Boston offense. See Zach Lowe’s Grantland article today.

                  For the record, I think Rondo makes the Celtics slightly better (with a way higher ceiling in the playoffs). However, there have been chemistry and style issues in Boston and it’s not inconceivable that Boston would play better with Calderon during the regular season.

                  Rondo’s a big game player. Most people see him in big games, which masks his inconsistency.

                2. Espn says the celtics’ record this year and over the past four seasons is better without rondo than with him. It’s possibly a fluke but numbers don’t lie.

  4. These are all fun, but I don’t think the Nets have the assets to get any of them. The only guys I can see getting are those who have really bad contracts and are underperforming on lottery teams. Those teams might be willing to take Hump to unload that contract.

    If you find one of those teams, maybe you work them into a 3 team deal. So if MEM-TOR deal for Rudy is going down, can TOR be enticed to send Fields to Brooklyn if they send a pick to a team the Nets want to trade with?

    1. I agree…I don’t think the Nets have the assets. Maybe have the assets for Millsap, definitely have them for Bargnani, but there’s no way they should even consider him.

      The issue I see with getting an under-performing player with multiple year deals is that it won’t put the Nets at the next level, which I think is Billy Kings ultimate plan. Like you said, we have such limited assets, that once we get rid of them, we basically won’t have any for the next few years. I think King will try and go all in with what we have rather than try and go for a guy like Landry Fields and be done dealing for a while.

      1. I’m not sure Bargnani is such an easy deal either. His deal is similar to Hump’s. so you’re basically trading humphries for Bargnani. Wouldn’t you love that, being anti-hump? I think Bargnani would give them another look offensively.
        The nets don’t have the chips for Millsap. I wish they did as he can make them a contender,, but marshon ain’t gonna get it done. Utah needs backcourt help.

        1. I think I may be more anti-Bargnani than I am anti Hump at least for this team. The only way I would want a guy like Bargnani is if I had a center like Kendrick Perkins, not Brook Lopez. No knock on Brook, but he is an offensive center first, defensive center second. Perkins is the opposite.

          Also I believe that the Raptors would be nuts to not accept Hump for Bargnani. I believe Andrea has 3 more years left while Hump has 2. He’s also more expensive, and has yet to prove he can win in this league. I’m fact, he’s proven the opposite this year. I’d rather get something else for Hump. Every situation is different, and again I like what Andrea does on offense, but we couldn’t have that type of defense on a team like this. If we had a team that had some great defensive players, then yea, maybe I would consider Bargnani, but in this situation, it’s just a bad idea.

  5. I’m obviously out of step with the rest of the armchair GM world, but I paged in vain through all 7 “targets” waiting for a guy we really need. That is speed, specifically backcourt speed, more specifically, someone who can guard (and beat off the dribble) the speed merchants we are likely to see in the playoffs–Teague/Harris, Jennings/Ellis, Hill, Holiday–these guys have killed us and we have no answer.

    Our frontcourt could use some help, but not as desperately as Williams and Johnson trying to guard Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis. In the playoffs, guard play and defense are what win games. The front court is overrated–it can bring the crowd to its feet with dunks, but 3pt offense and defense is what wins games.

    I haven’t studied who’s available–Ramon Sessions come to mind and I’d like to hear everyone’s ideas as to others and how we can get them.

    1. I agree that the Nets are slow. Deron and Joe aren’t the quickest of backcourts, but unfortunately you have to play them, because we’ll, they’re stars and our best players. You can’t expect to get a quicker, better defending guard and play him over Joe or Deron simply because he’s quicker and better at defense.

          1. Two things: 1. Watson is our backup and we still need him there. 2. Watson is not that quick.

            This idea that we need more scoring from the PF is misguided. You can’t have 20 point scorers in more than three positions. We need to go out and get what we lack completely. An added point: if you watch closely, you see that our lack of quickness is partly responsible for our sky-high turnover rate.

            1. 1. Watson is quick, it’s one reason why he gets so many steals 2. MarShon should be playing backup PG.

  6. Though acquiring him is an impossibility, I have wet dreams about Kenneth Faried running at PF with this team.

    1. There are a ton a PF’s out there that would make us instant favorites in the East. Serge Ibaka is the guy for me. Unfortunately we could never get any of them.

      It’s a good thing though that we are essentially just one player away from the next level of teams.

      1. Absolutely. Problem is that one player has to be an athletic, defensive-minded 4. What about Larry Sanders? What would it take to rest him from the Bucks?

  7. I don’t understand how people keep saying we don’t have assets for KG. The Celtics can either trade him now and bundle him with another high salaried player and get some salary relief and some low draft pics. whats their option hold on to KG for another year? they will get even less for him next year.
    its not that Hump has good value as a player but as an expiring contract. as good as KG is they are not getting better than Hump, brooks and picks for him, please tell me what team out there can give them a better offer than that? and next year when KG is even older chances are they will get even less value for him.

        1. gotta remember the celtics hate humphries, and i think kg would be so offended about being traded for him he’d invoke his no-trade clause. doc doesn’t give a shit about rebounding, and they are developing sullinger at humphries position. they have no use for him.

  8. A name that I think should be bandied around a bit is Luis Scola. Plays very hard on a subpar Suns team. Averages about 13 points and 3 assists a game this year. Only problem could be the contract. He’s in the second year of a 4 year deal.