The Nets are stockpiling assets; could that help set up a trade for James Harden?
It took a full day after the completion of Wednesday’s NBA Draft, but lawyers from the Nets, Pistons and Clippers finally put together a series of moves made by the three teams into one overarching trade that officially was announced Thursday night.
The bottom line for the Nets is they acquired Pistons guard Bruce Brown, Clippers guard Landry Shamet and the draft rights to No. 57 overall pick Reggie Perry, a 6-10 forward/center from Mississippi State.
The series of moves began on Monday with a deal that brought Brown from the Pistons to the Nets in exchange for guards Dzanan Musa and Jaylen Hands and a 2021 second-round pick from Toronto.
On Wednesday night, the Nets used the 19th pick to select Villanova forward Saddiq Bey and then sent him to the Pistons, who then traded Luke Kennard and Justin Patton to the Clippers along with the Trail Blazers’ second-round pick in 2023 and the Pistons’ second-round picks in 2024, 2025 and 2026.
The Clippers then delivered Shamet to the Nets and Rodney McGruder and cash considerations to the Pistons.
In the second round, the Nets selected junior college guard Jay Scrubb with the 55th pick and sent him to the Clippers, who selected Perry at No. 57 and shipped him to the Nets.
Nets general manager Sean Marks is scheduled to discuss his roster moves in a news conference Friday morning.
It was complicated, but the Nets ultimately get a pair of two-year veteran guards in Shamet and Brown along with Perry, who was co-SEC player of the year after averaging 17.4 points and 10.1 rebounds as a sophomore.
The addition of Shamet and Brown suggests the Nets might be stockpiling assets to go after a trade for Rockets superstar James Harden, who is trying to force his way to the Nets to form a "big three" combination with superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Guards Caris LeVert and Spencer Dinwiddie, center Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince are core players who could be packaged in a deal for Harden along with a raft of draft picks.
However, an NBA source told Newsday there is no framework in place for a deal between the Nets and Rockets involving Harden.
Marks made another move on Thursday when the Nets declined their team option on guard Garrett Temple, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 10-year veteran averaged a career-high 10.3 points in his only season with the Nets and was a locker-room leader.
The Nets would have owed Temple $5 million, and that is money they can put toward an offer to swingman Joe Harris, their own free agent, when the market opens Friday for free-agent negotiations. Signings can begin Sunday, and multiple reports have indicated that Harris might attract a three-year deal averaging about $18 million per season.
The Nets also are believed to be interested in pursuing Raptors free-agent forward Serge Ibaka, a close friend of Durant’s who would fulfill their need for a stretch power forward and also could serve as a small-ball center. But Ibaka, who made $23 million last season, would have to settle for the mid-level taxpayer exception from the Nets because they will be over the salary cap. Such a deal would start at $5.7 million and be worth $18 million over three years.