Citing executives from around the league, Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports that the Nets have made both Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez available for trade, with some specifics regarding an earlier-reported deal for Young with the Raptors:
The Nets are still on the process of hiring a general manager and yet several league executives claim that the club is willing to deal Brook Lopez and/or Thaddeus Young.
One scenario has Young being moved to Toronto for a package that could include Patrick Patterson and point guard Delon Wright. The Nets may want a first round pick and Toronto just happens to own the Knicks 2016 first round pick.
Update: Isola adds that the Raptors and Clippers have both expressed interest in Young:
Raptors and Clippers are both interested in Brooklyn's Thaddeus Young.
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 16, 2016
There are no specifics on any potential Lopez deal, or any Clippers-Young deal.
A Patterson-Wright swap for Young works under the salary cap. Patterson is in a down year, averaging a career-low in points per 36 minutes (9.2) and his second-worst effective field goal percentage (50.8 percent), but is generally considered an effective “stretch 4” and a solid shooter off the bench. Wright is a little-used rookie point guard who the Nets strongly considered during last season’s NBA Draft before the Raptors took him 20th overall.
The big prize in that potential deal is the 2016 Knicks pick that Isola mentions, which is not technically the Knicks pick alone but more likely to become it. The Raptors have the right to either the Nuggets’ 2016 first-round pick or the Knicks, whichever is worse. Both are expected to be in the lottery: if the season ended today, the pick would most likely be 10th overall.
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It’s not entirely clear just who on the Nets is making Lopez and Young available: whether it’s assistant general manager Frank Zanin, different levels of the team’s Russian ownership, one of their general manager candidates by proxy, or some combination of all three. It would be safe to assume that any move the Nets do between now and February 19th would be approved by anyone they’d want to run the team afterwards.
There’s also the question of whether the Nets should do it at all. Young and Lopez’s value is somewhat diminished by playing with an entire roster of replacement-level players (and the occasional Joe Johnson heroic), and Mikhail Prokhorov seemed adamant that he wants a brisk return to competitive basketball in Brooklyn. That would likely mean keeping your best talent and hoping to re-tool in free agency with more quality players, rather than begin the teardown in the middle of a 14-40 season. Lopez himself is having an All-Star caliber season, and the expected value on a mid-first round draft pick won’t likely return the same value that Lopez can. The grass is always greener on the other side.
The trade deadline is this Thursday, February 19th at 3:00 P.M., though teams can discuss beyond that time if they’re close to striking a deal.
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