The Nets are in front office disarray. They have no official general manager after Billy King stepped down from the position last month, and assistant general manager Frank Zanin is currently at the helm.
With the trade deadline looming in mid-February, front office insider for The Vertical Bobby Marks suggests the Nets field trade calls for just about their entire roster, minus Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough. McCullough has yet to play in an NBA game after tearing his ACL during his freshman year at Syracuse.
Though Marks is in the middle of previewing every team’s trade deadline viability, he knows the particular ins and outs of the Nets front office about as well as anyone: he was the team’s assistant general manager under Billy King until last season, and had worked with the team for over 20 years.
In McCullough, Marks notes that the Nets have “a potential lottery talent” in McCullough and Hollis-Jefferson’s versatility on the wing is too valuable to put on the block.
But everyone else should be on the table, including Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, Brooklyn’s biggest building blocks.
Brook Lopez, who is in the first year of a $60 million contract, is the perfect complement for a team lacking a low-post threat. Although injured in his first two-years in Brooklyn, Lopez, 27, has been remarkably healthy over the past two seasons. Still in the prime of his career, Brooklyn should listen if its assets can be replenished.
Thaddeus Young has regrouped to resemble the player he was in Philadelphia a few seasons ago. The 27-year old, who is in the first year of a four-year contract, is best suited to becoming the fourth option for a quality team. A first-year salary of $11.2 million should appeal to teams looking for an athletic power forward.
Outside of Lopez, Young, McCullough, and Hollis-Jefferson, the Nets lack viable assets. They don’t control the rights to a first-round pick until 2019 and can’t trade one until 2020. They have also traded away all of their second-round picks until 2021. Though they do have some trade exceptions, they’re unlikely to do anything that pushes them above the luxury tax, since the team has no chance at the playoffs this season.
Marks also notes a surprise no-trade clause, and the potential of other deals, including a buyout for Joe Johnson. The light at the end of the tunnel? A potential $40 million in cap room… Cap room that many other teams can match, given the spiking salary cap.