Brooklyn Nets Rumors: Big Named Players On The Move?


Brooklyn Nets Rumors: With a desire to shake things up for the upcoming season, could we see the Nets get aggressive on the trade market by moving some of the bigger named players on roster?

The Brooklyn Nets had one of the more disappointing seasons in the NBA, getting bounced from the playoffs in the first round by the Atlanta Hawks despite having the highest payroll in the NBA. Because of that, there will undoubtedly be moves made during the summer to revamp the roster. It will not be easy to do, as the Nets have a number of albatross contracts, but they will definitely try to make some trades. Who could be on the move you ask? A number of veterans, including two of their three ‘Big 3’ in Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, and Jarrett Jack.

There haven’t been any new rumors recently regarding the three, as all of them were in trade rumors throughout this past season as the Nets looked to shake things up. But when you are not mentioned in a letter to season ticket holders, it is fair to question your future with your current team.

In a letter released to Nets’ season ticket holders, that was signed by Brett Yormark, CEO of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, and Billy King, General Manager of the team, those three names were suspiciously absent. One excerpt from the letter reads as, “We are committed to keeping our core leadership together by re-signing Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. At the same time, we will continue to build on our emerging young core of players, such as Mason Plumlee, Bojan Bogdanovic, Markel Brown and Sergey Karasev.”

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My, how times change quickly. Just four short months ago, the Nets had a deal in place to ship Lopez to the Oklahoma City Thunder to receive a package built around Reggie Jackson. The Thunder instead opted for a deal with the Utah Jazz centered around Enes Kanter, which was good for the Nets as Lopez quickly became the only reason they were competitive and eventually able to sneak into the postseason. He was not a part of their long-term plans at that time, but as it currently sounds that has changed.

The Nets seem intent on moving on from aging players in the backcourt, opting instead to build around younger players up front in Lopez and Young. With how this season played out, and the success of the players involved, it is hard to fault them for thinking like that.

Of the trio, Jack should be the easiest to trade if the Nets do so desire. He posted strong numbers for the Nets, averaging 12.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.7 assists in 28.0 minutes per game. Jack spent most of the season coming off the bench for the Nets, but when he was called upon to start, which happened 27 times, he performed even better with extended minutes. He would be a good veteran to have coming off the bench as he can start in a pinch and won’t hurt your team whenever he is on the court. There should be a number of suitors for Jack, as he already garnered some serious inquiries around the trade deadline.

Nov 19, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack (0) and forward Joe Johnson (7) react during the second half at Barclays Center. The Milwaukee Bucks won 122-118in triple overtime. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson is the consummate veteran, and could fill a role similar to the one Paul Pierce filled for the Washington Wizards this past season. Johnson’s scoring stats fell off considerably this past season, but he still helped out well in the rebounding and assist departments, and has shown versatility to play multiple spots on the offensive side of the ball. While he is no longer the go-to scorer like he was with the Atlanta Hawks, he still can still fill it up when needed, and as a thing for the theatrics as he delivers big-time baskets in crunch time. A team on the cusp of being a true contender would do well trading for Johnson. Also, while Johnson will be one of the highest paid players in the NBA next season at just under $25 million, it is an expiring contract which should broaden the market for teams in which Johnson is wanted by.

Then there is Williams, who has really nothing in the value department for the Nets. He is coming off yet another down season statistically, putting up a career-low shooting percentage and his lowest output scoring on a per-game basis other than his rookie season. He has also struggled to stay healthy, which makes taking him on a problem as you will need to have a capable backup to pick up the slack, much like the Nets had Jack for this season. What will truly make it a tall task to move Williams though is his contract.

Unlike Jack, who has a palatable $12.6 million, including a team option, over the next two seasons, and Johnson who is on an expiring contract, Williams has a ton of money left on his deal that is owed to him. Williams is owed superstar type money the next two seasons, coming in at just under $43.4 million. That is an amount no team will be willing to take on without some sort of sweetener in the deal, as it will be crippling towards payroll, even with the expected increase coming for the 2016-17 season with a new television deal.

At this time, it would be major surprise if Williams is moved as his salary and production just do not match up. It would be a lot less surprising to see Jack and Johnson moved though, as they have shown the ability to still be productive in certain roles, and their contracts aren’t as crippling. The Nets may be stuck with the shell of Deron Williams for the foreseeable future.

Next: What's next for the Brookyln Nets?

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