Nets Notes: Finney-Smith, O’Neale, Lillard, Johnson, Bridges, Simmons

Several executives around the league expect the Nets to be at the forefront of the trade market this offseason, Marc Stein reports in his latest Substack notebook. They have a glut of wing players, led by Mikal Bridges. They also intend to match any offer for restricted free agent Cameron Johnson, Stein notes.

That means the Nets may seek suitors for Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale as they attempt to upgrade in other areas, Stein adds. Finney-Smith is signed through the 2025/26 season with the final year being a player option. O’Neale has one year left on his contract.

We have more on the Nets:

  • Speaking of being active on the trade market, multiple league executives expect the Nets to make a run at Damian Lillard if the perennial All-Star and Trail Blazers decide he’d be better off in another uniform, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype reports. The Nets would likely have to add multiple first-rounders to include Ben Simmons in the trade. Alternatively, they could send the Blazers multiple players — including a quality young piece — and a couple of first-rounders.
  • What is Johnson’s market value? According to execs that Scotto spoke with, he could get a four-year contract worth approximately $90MM. He’ll have some numerous suitors, including the Rockets.
  • Bridges feels responsible for Brooklyn getting swept out of the postseason by Philadelphia, according to Ryan Dunleavy and Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Though he averaged 23.5 points in the series, he was held to 17 points in Game 4. “I feel like these past games, I’ve been letting my team down,” Bridges said. “I hate not [winning] a game for them. It hurts me as I’m just trying, but it’s part of it, man. I just own up to it and realize all you can do is just get better. That’s the biggest thing for me.”
  • General manager Sean Marks confirmed a report that Simmons probably won’t need a second back surgery, Lewis tweets. “He is checking the boxes and meeting these different markers along the way,” Marks said. “So at this point, he does not need surgery. That is the hope going forward, that he will not have to endure another surgery.”
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