Proposed Trade Has Nets Upgrade Lineup With Mavericks Starting Big Man

Dorian Finney-Smith

Getty DALLAS, TEXAS - APRIL 08: (L-R) Kristaps Porzingis #6, Dorian Finney-Smith #10, Luka Doncic #77 and Maxi Kleber #42 of the Dallas Mavericks react against the Milwaukee Bucks in the fourth quarter at American Airlines Center on April 08, 2021 in Dallas, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Even with Kyrie Irving missing the first 35 games of the season, and a struggling James Harden, the Brooklyn Nets find themselves having one of the best records in the NBA. But against the top teams, they have struggled which could mean trouble for them come playoff time. According to Ian Begley of “SNY”, earlier this season the Dallas Mavericks reached out to the Nets about a potential swap that included Irving and Mavericks All-Star big man Kristaps Porzingis.

“The Dallas Mavericks were among teams to reach out to the Nets about a trade involving Kyrie Irving, per SNY sources,” Begley writes via “SNY“. “And in those trade talks, sources say Kristaps Porzingis was brought up. It’s unknown if talks between Brooklyn and Dallas advanced past a preliminary stage.”

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Trade Proposal Has Nets Acquire Mavs Dorian Finney-Smith

The Nets may have one of the best records in the NBA but there is no doubt that they have a top-heavy roster. Outside of their ‘Big 3’ of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie, the Nets are just raw talent and potential. With limited assets, the Nets don’t have the capacity to make a big move at the trade deadline, but they can make the right move. Bobby Marks of ESPN suggests that the Nets trade for Mavericks starting big man Dorian Finney-Smith, but there is a high risk involved. A 2028 first-round draft pick.

“The Nets are clearly all-in, and this would be a huge risk considering that it is unlikely Kevin Durant, Harden, and Kyrie Irving will be on the roster in 2028,” Marks writes per ESPN. “The positive is that Finney-Smith is an elite level defender and Brooklyn inherits his Bird rights, allowing them to re-sign him in the offseason.”

On the season Finney-Smith is averaging 10.5 points while shooting 45.5% from the field, and 38.8% from the three-point line.

Executives Believe Nets Will Trade Nic Claxton

In the Nets overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, Brooklyn’s big man Nicolas Claxton finished with 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Claxton has emerged as one of the Nets’ key role players, and the more he plays the higher his trade value rises. As much potential as Claxton may have, championship windows are often short. The Nets need to capitalize on their title opportunity now.

A recent report from Jake Fischer of “Bleacher Report” details that the Nets could move Claxton in the future.

“Rival executives believe Nic Claxton could become available, as the Nets quietly gauged his value during the 2021 draft,” Fischer writes.

Nets general manager Sean Marks has shown in the past that he is willing to mortgage the future of the team to make win-now moves. He parted ways with Jarrett Allen and Caris LeVert in the trade that brought former NBA Most Valuable Player James Harden to Brooklyn last January.

“The third-year forward has performed well for Brooklyn,” Fischer continues. “But ahead of Claxton’s restricted free agency this summer, rival executives believe he could be the outgoing player Brooklyn trades to take back a veteran into either the roughly $6 million trade exception from moving DeAndre Jordan or the $11.5 million trade exception from Spencer Dinwiddie’s sign-and-trade to Washington.”

The Nets have fallen out of first place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, after losing 5 of their last 8 games. With the trade deadline just under a month away, it will be interesting to see what moves the Nets will make.

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