NBA Rumors: 1 trade for every Nets player on chopping block

The Brooklyn Nets are expected to wheel and deal at the trade deadline. Let's cook up some realistic, mutually beneficial pacts.

Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets
Nic Claxton, Brooklyn Nets / Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports
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The Brooklyn Nets are stuck between a rock and a hard place — too good to actually tank, but also not in possession of their own draft picks. There is very little upward or downward mobility with the current group. Unless the Nets can offload Mikal Bridges for a bunch of valuable picks, it's hard to meaningfully change the direction of the franchise.

For now, however, the Nets appear content to sell off their role players to the highest bidder. Royce O'Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith are both involved in trade chatter, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. He also notes that Spencer Dinwiddie is unlikely to stay in Brooklyn beyond the season, so he's a natural trade candidate.

And, in a new (and stunning) development, the Nets are expected to consider deals for Nic Claxton, per Marc Stein. That would be a major pivot from the Nets. Claxton was a Defensive Player of the Year candidate last season and he's still 24 years old. The fit with Ben Simmons is awkward, but there's no proof that Simmons should guide their roster choices at this stage.

All that said, the Nets are one of the buzziest teams in the league right now. The trade deadline is a week away. Let's load up the trade machine and try to locate a logical destination for each Nets trade chip.

Nets trade Royce O'Neale to Lakers

lakers

The expected going price for Royce O'Neale is two second-round picks, per HoopsHype. Here, the Los Angeles Lakers land a wing upgrade while getting off of Gabe Vincent's contract. There was a lot of excitement around the Vincent signing in the offseason, but he struggled out of the gate and has only played five games due to injury. Los Angeles signed him for three years and $33 million — a long-term investment — but the Lakers have reason to jump ship now.

O'Neale has been in a funk for Brooklyn, averaging 7.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists on .384/.361/.650 splits in 24.3 minutes. His struggles inside the arc are a concern, but at worst, O'Neale is a competent three-point shooter and high-I.Q. role player with enough defensive juice to stick in Los Angeles' rotation. He's also on an expiring contract, which aids the Lakers' bookkeeping.

The Nets get Vincent as a potential backup (or even starting) point guard to man the ship once Dinwiddie departs. There's an opportunity for Vincent to rebuild his reputation once he's healthy. Brooklyn can bank on trading his salary somewhere down the line.

A lot of folks expect the Lakers to swing a major trade, but with Dejounte Murray buzz fading and Bruce Brown garnering consideration from several teams, there's an equal (or greater) chance that Los Angeles simply makes small moves on the margins. O'Neale wouldn't completely shift the Lakers' trajectory, but he's a useful wing in a rotation short on reliable postseason pieces.