While most of the trade talk has focused on the Nets' expiring contracts, the ESPN's Chad Ford, over at the TrueHoop mothership introduces a brand new scenario where the Nets could potentially move Devin Harris and an expiring contract or two for an impact player that would help the Nets win now:
The thinking is that if the Nets can land two good players now, that might be better than having to overpay to good players this summer out of desperation.
This tidbit comes on the heels of reports that the Lakers and Rockets had both shown interest in Toronto's Chris Bosh - one of the big free agents to-be this summer. Such a trade could dramatically alter the free agent landscape this summer because of the "Bird Rights" which allows a player's current team to offer them the most money in free agency. By moving Bosh (or Wade or LeBron hypothetically) to another team, it lessens the Nets (and Knicks) ability to sign one of these marquee names, leaving those two teams with secondary players to spend their valuable cap space on.
According to the Ford report, only Brook Lopez is "untouchable" on the Nets.
I have to admit, I'm a bit surprised by this report. Not because I think Devin Harris is necessarily untouchable, but because I really didn't think the Nets would be willing to move one of their "core" guys and abandon their 2010 summer plans.
Total speculation here, but here are my two theories why the Nets would move Devin Harris now:
1. The Nets braintrust believe that his struggles are not linked to injury and that he's simply not a cornerstone player and that last season (where Devin was really only dominant through the first half) was a fluke.
2. The Nets are really, really panicked that they won't be able to land a free agent this summer because of the current trade market, and their current record. Remember, Bosh, Joe Johnson, and LeBron all indicated that a team's record matters. I also think money talks, but we'll see.
Still, trade talk around the Nets just got a lot more interesting.