The Brooklyn Nets could be active at the NBA trade deadline as they look to bolster their roster for the homestretch of the 2018-19 season. With the team in position to make it into the playoffs and likely needing another piece or two in order to really make noise, rumors have swirled. Although no specific trade offers have come to light, one name that popped up recently was Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon.
As ESPN’s Zach Lowe stated on The Lowe Post podcast Monday, he believes the Nets like Gordon and points to Orlando’s need of a point guard.
“I don’t think they want to go forward with a Rondae Hollis-Jefferson-Jarrett Allen four-five, because there’s not enough shooting, that’s not the way they want to play. So the four is like this giant question mark, and then you’re just like, boy, Aaron Gordon would be a really fun answer in that giant question mark. I think they like Aaron Gordon and the Magic need a point guard.”
He goes on to cite that although Spencer Dinwiddie is not tradeable until six months after the day he signed his extension, that there are a few decent hypothetical deals with him. Obviously, that can’t play out, but there are still interesting offers that could be made by the Nets side to push for a deal.
Let’s take a look at three possible options which could benefit both teams potentially.
*Note: All trades created with ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
Nets’ Pick-Heavy Trade for Aaron Gordon Without D’Angelo Russell
*Nets send Denver’s future first-round pick, their own first-rounder and future second-rounder to Magic
Putting together a deal which addresses the Magic’s need at point guard without D’Angelo Russell is a tall task. There aren’t all that many routes to go in order to fill the need, but fortunately, Shabazz Napier has stepped up and played well as of late. Although Napier could be a nice piece for the rest of this season, it’s unknown if he’ll be a long-term answer.
With that said, the Nets would have to throw in multiple draft picks to make this deal happen, and while two first-rounders and one second look bad, it’s not as terrible as it seems. The Nuggets pick is going to be late in the first while the Nets could very well end up somewhat near the bottom if they keep winning. It’s worth noting that Denver’s pick is also top-12 protected, per RealGM.
It’s a lot to give up in terms of draft compensation, but Gordon has tremendous upside and would be a great fit.
Nets Send Russell to Magic for Gordon
*Nets send Denver’s future first-round pick to Magic
There’s no question that Russell has turned a corner and looks poised to do big things in the near future. However, he’s set to become a restricted free agent after the season. If the Magic are happy with Russell, they could match any offer that comes for the 22-year-old guard.
Considering the Magic would have the option to bring Russell back, it leads to only one pick being included in the deal. DeMarre Carroll’s expiring deal is added in and he can help the Magic for the remainder of this season. Essentially, this is more of a Gordon-for-Russell deal with one pick while Orlando adds the better second player.
Larger Russell Trade Package for Gordon, Terrence Ross
*Nets send Denver’s future first-round pick and their own first-rounder to Magic
I’m not entirely sure how to view the situation with Allen Crabbe. He has a player option for next season that comes with a cap number of $18.5 million, per Spotrac. It’s hard to envision him not opting into that, but anything can happen, especially with all the money that’s out there in free agency. Regardless, Crabbe is a solid scorer and could provide a nice offensive punch for the Magic even beyond this season.
Russell and Carroll are again included with Rodions Kurucs added into the mix as well. Kurucs has flashed upside this season, but there are questions about his game and longterm outlook. The deal featuring Crabbe/Russell brings Terrence Ross back, a player who has been surrounded by trade chatter for a good while now. In turn, the Nets send back the same two first-rounders mentioned in the above package.