For a team that led the Eastern Conference playoff standings for a significant portion of the season, the Brooklyn Nets have begun to reach a breaking point. After a loss to the Warriors on Saturday night, the Nets have lost four games in a row and now sit in 6th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets rookies have been one of the few bright spots for the team this season. But despite the emergence of first-year players Kessler Edwards, Cam Thomas, Day’Ron Sharpe, and David Duke Jr, the reality is that outside of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and (part-time) Kyrie Irving, the Nets’ roster is severely lacking.
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Brooklyn Nets ‘Front Runners’ for Clippers’ Serge Ibaka
While the result of this season is far from decided for the Nets; their title chances look significantly slimmer than they did at the beginning of the year. And they may need to make a roster addition or two before the playoffs start. According to Sam Quinn of “CBS Sports”, Brooklyn could be the front runner for Los Angeles Clippers’ power forward Serge Ibaka assuming he becomes a free agent via the buyout market.
“Watch out for Serge Ibaka on the buyout market. The Clippers can save tens of millions of dollars by dumping him into Oklahoma City’s cap space. If they do and he secures a buyout, the Nets would appear to be the front-runners for him considering how heavily they pursued him as a 2020 free agent,” Quinn writes per CBS Sports.
Quinn: No Key Nets Players To Be Moved at Deadline
Quinn also says that despite the murmurs surrounding Harden’s future with the franchise over the last couple of weeks, the only way any of Brooklyn’s key starters would be moved is if the Nets pulled the trigger on a deal for their sharpshooter Joe Harris who has been out with an ankle injury since November 12.
“Barring a surprise [Joe] Harris trade, the big-ticket items are probably off the table,” Quinn continued. “Matching salary on someone substantial might not even be possible without including Bruce Brown in a deal. The reasonably-priced Justin Holiday would’ve been perfect … but he’s not vaccinated. Kenrich Williams is within their price range, but a 2028 first-round pick is a hefty price to pay for someone with such a limited track record.”
Patty Mills Sounds off on Tough Road Trip
The Nets season won’t get any easier. After falling to Steph Curry and the Warriors, the team will saddle up to play the red-hot Phoenix Suns who are on a 9-game winning streak in their next game. But despite the daunting task, Nets guard Patty Mills believes the team is up for the challenge.
“To start this road trip off against the Warriors and now on to Phoenix is a great test for us,” Mills said per NetsDaily. “So, we’ve just got to understand that for the big picture, we’ve just got to keep chipping away and putting things into the bank fully believing that this is going to pay off for us at the end of the season. And that’s what I believe.”
The Nets have gone from sitting at the mountain top earlier this season to now fighting for their playoff lives. With so many of Brooklyn’s players on the injury report, it will be interesting to see if Irving can keep the Nets afloat on this road trip.