By Ian Parfrey @Ianparfrey
NBA teams cannot trade newly signed or re-signed free agents until December 15. That’s one reason the trade market has been stagnant since the James Harden / Kevin Martin deal on October 27, as teams are waiting until they have more flexibility.
The Nets’ roster has a few needs. One, the injury to Brook Lopez proved that the team could use some more big man depth. Two, the team’s only backup point guards are C.J. Watson, who has been mostly ineffective, and rookie Tyshawn Taylor. Three, the Nets shouldn’t turn down a pure shooter if one came on the market.
Of the December 15 players, the most interesting big man option is the Suns’ Jermaine O’Neal, who has rejuvenated his career in Phoenix. The Suns are going nowhere, and might listen to an offer. O’Neal can score, either inside or with a mid-range baseline jumper, and would instantly become the Nets’ best defensive big. On the downside, O’Neal is old and injury-prone. He’s basically the frontcourt version of Jerry Stackhouse.
There aren’t a lot of teams willing to give away a good point guard. Indiana’s D.J. Augustin has played so poorly that he lost his backup gig to Ben Hansbrough. He’s only 25, and averaged 14 points and 6 assists for the Bobcats two years ago. Sacramento’s Aaron Brooks might also be available, but he’s not really any better at creating for his teammates than C.J. Watson.
More shooting could be available in the form of Martell Webster (Wizards) or Vlad Radmanovic (Bulls). And if the Nets are interested in another reclamation project after their success with Andray Blatche, the Suns would love to send them Michael Beasley.
On the Nets’ side, they can now include C.J. Watson and Keith Bogans in any prospective trade. Kris Humphries cannot be traded until January 15, because of a complicated provision involving his Larry Bird rights.
Of course, there are plenty of players who were already tradeable before the 15th, and all this deadline really does is to make it easier to play “salary cap mix and match.” I don’t expect the Nets to be too active, though Billy King should be aware that just about anyone would provide more value from the final roster spot than Josh Childress.
What do the BK Fans think? What should the Nets be looking for on the trade market?