The Nets, who at one point held an 8-18 record and appeared dead in the water without top scorer Caris LeVert, have won their last six games to pull within 1.5 games of a playoff spot in the East. Now, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, they’re hinting in talks with teams that they might be buyers at the trade deadline.
As we outlined on Tuesday, it appears that the top five teams in the Eastern Conference are virtual locks to make the postseason, but the final three spots remain very much up for grabs. The Pistons, Hornets, Magic, Heat, and Wizards are among Brooklyn’s competitors for one of those playoff spots, but none of those teams is currently over .500. In other words, the door is open for the Nets to potentially return to the postseason for the first time since 2015.
Although Windhorst doesn’t offer any specifics for what the Nets might be looking for in advance of the trade deadline, the club seems set at point guard with D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie. The center position – manned by Jarrett Allen and Ed Davis – also looks fairly stable. So wings and forwards could be Brooklyn’s top priorities if the team goes shopping for reinforcements.
It will be interesting to see whether the Nets are open to taking on any multiyear contracts in deadline deals. Brooklyn projects to have significant cap room in 2019, but exhibited a willingness to cut into that projected space a little by extending Dinwiddie last week. If they were to make, say, Kenneth Faried‘s $13.76MM expiring contract available for a player earning comparable money on a multiyear deal, that could open up some intriguing opportunities for the Nets. They may not want to further compromise their 2019 cap flexibility though.
In any case, if the Nets’ recent success continues, it appears we’ll be able to add them to the list of this season’s buyers. They’d join the Pelicans, Pistons, and Kings, among many others, on that list.