The annual, pervasive nature of Brooklyn Nets trade rumors as the trade deadline approaches sometimes seems farcical. The Nets somehow get connected to every major player or move, regardless if any trade actually goes down or a remote possibility of a deal exists beyond our wildest imaginations. Dreams of everyone from Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard to Josh Smith and Kyle Lowry have dominated Brooklyn’s tenure, often more than the on-court product.
But the closer we get to the trade deadline, the quieter those murmurs get.
The Nets aren’t involved in any major or public trade talks. Rumors of them pursuing Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson quieted after they “gathered intel” on the erratic fifth-year guard in the midst of a poor season. The Nets nearly dealt Brook Lopez to the Oklahoma City Thunder last month in a salary dump, but pulled out at the last second, choosing to hold on to the center in the hopes of acquiring real talent. They are not deal-averse, but they’re apparently not going to make a deal just to be making a deal, as general manager Billy King recently put it.
Earlier today, a report out indicated that Thunder guard Reggie Jackson has requested a trade, hoping to find his way out of Oklahoma City before entering restricted free agency this summer. Jackson’s a talented, athletic guard that could move the needle on a potential Nets deal. But any team acquiring him would likely have to commit major money to Jackson in the offseason, or find a way to sign-and-trade him, which is not an easy task.
A report from Mike Scotto of RealGM indicated that the Nets have nothing imminent at this time, and adding Jackson to a Brook Lopez trade wouldn’t make a difference, even as Lopez & Mason Plumlee have struggled to share the floor, and the younger, cheaper Plumlee was deemed untouchable by management.
But with the trade deadline approaching, remember: this is a team that often seems to pull something off when nothing’s readily apparent. The Joe Johnson deal happened in the span of under 24 hours; the Deron Williams deal came out of nowhere, as did the Gerald Wallace trade.
The Nets didn’t make any major moves at last year’s trade deadline, as they had just started to string together victories. This year, with the team’s on-court and in-pocket fortunes circling the drain, we might see a last-second move we never saw coming.
The trade deadline is Thursday at 3 P.M. EST.