The NBA Trade Deadline has come and gone. With much hype and discussion centered around who the Nets would deal and could acquire, it was a relatively quiet Thursday for Brooklyn. Today’s deadline may be more about what deals were not made, than the deal that was. And that may not be a bad thing.
The only Nets deal of the day was a Rashad Vaughn for Dante Cunningham swap with the New Orleans Pelicans.
New Orleans is trading forward Dante Cunningham to Brooklyn for guard Rashad Vaughn, league sources tell Yahoo.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 8, 2018
Vaughn was just acquired by the Nets on Monday, along with a protected second-round pick in exchange for Tyler Zeller from the Milwaukee Bucks. So to sum the Nets’ trade deadline up, they acquired Dante Cunningham and a second-round pick for Tyler Zeller. Rashad Vaughn’s tenure as a Brooklyn Net lasted all of three days, playing four minutes in one game.
Per TNT’s David Aldridge, Cunningham will not seek a release or buyout in Brooklyn.
Nets essentially trade Zeller for Cunningham—who will not seek a release/buyout in Brooklyn: https://t.co/4GVR4kkJlK
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) February 8, 2018
With the trade, the Nets’ roster remains full with fifteen guaranteed contracts and two two-way players. Cunningham, 30, may be a Net for the rest of the season. The Nets will be Cunningham’s sixth team, spending his past four seasons with the Pelicans. This season, Cunningham is averaging 5.0 points and 3.8 rebounds on 44.0 percent FG and 32.4 percent 3P. The 6-foot, 8-inch combo forward shot 39.2 percent from three last season, a career best.
While Cunningham’s numbers are far from impressive, he could provide nice versatility to a Nets team that emphasizes multiple skills. Cunningham could slot in as a small-ball forward, with enough lateral quickness to cover wings at times. The Nets are hoping that Cunningham’s hot shooting from 2016-17 comes back, as the threat of his jumper alone could open the floor up for Nets’ penetrators.
As of now, the addition of a second round pick can be seen as a bonus. The protection for the second round pick acquired from the Bucks is unlikely to convey this season and will convert to a 2020 selection. The Nets traded their own 2020 second round pick to Philadelphia in the Andrei Kirilenko salary dump in 2014.
With this move, the Nets seem to be stockpiling more assets. The addition of Dante Cunningham may likely be a short-term one, but Sean Marks still has his eyes set on the future with the addition of a second-round draft pick.