The Nets are still looking to improve their chances at a deep playoff run this season, and Bojan Bogdanović could be the most likely of the few tradable assets they have to be traded away for immediate help, according to Alex Raskin of The Wall Street Journal. The 24-year-old Croatian is currently playing in Istanbul, and while the Nets own his rights, it isn’t a given that they can outbid European teams to add him next year since they are limited to offering the $3.278 million mid-level exception. Here’s more from the Nets and the rest of the Atlantic Division:
- In the same piece, Raskin says Nets centers Brook Lopez and Mason Plumlee are the most likely trade candidates after Bogdanović. Lopez, a former all-star and tremendously skilled 7-footer, is injured for the rest of the year, and Plumlee has shown promise in his first year, sporting the highest PER of any rookie so far this year.
- Later in the piece, Deron Williams, who has had a voice in front office decision making before, is quoted as saying he doesn’t think the Nets will make a trade, while adding, “The last time I said that, I think, I got traded.”
- While Knicks coach Mike Woodson and star Carmelo Anthony both worked last night to put a positive spin on the coach’s standing and the team’s chances of improving, J.R. Smith gave a more mixed account of the situation to Ian Begley of ESPN New York. When asked if his teammates support Woodson, Smith said, “Yeah, I believe so. It’s kind of hard to tell. “Of course, nobody wants to show their whole hand. I think guys really care about him. I think guys care about this team, care about winning.”
- Arnett Moultrie is spending some time in the D-League for the Sixers due to conditioning concerns, and Nick Menta of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia thinks Philly fans should be alarmed at his slow development. Moultrie was obtained in a draft-day deal with the Heat in exchange for a first round pick that now belongs to the Celtics. The pick is lottery protected through next year, and becomes two second rounders after that. The Sixers also still owe a first rounder to the Magic (with staggered protections through 2018) from the Andrew Bynum deal from 2012. Menta says these “outstanding debts” that new GM Sam Hinkie and coach Brett Brown inherited from the previous regime are the reason the Sixers are demanding draft picks in return for trade candidates Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young.