There will be some changes made to the Brooklyn Nets roster.
Just how many remains anyone’s guess but several veterans figure to be dangled on the trade block this summer, and one, Dorian Finney-Smith could have a ready-made suitor in the Atlanta Hawks, a rival general manager tells Heavy Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney.
“There is still a lot of speculation that Atlanta could bring back a John Collins offer for the Nets,” the GM told Heavy Sports. “And DFS is a guy they want to bring in.”
– John Collins
– Dorian Finney-Smith
– Royce O’Neale
– 2027 1st Rd Pick (Top-8 protected, via PHI)
Finney-Smith, 30, came over from the Dallas Mavericks in the Kyrie Irving trade along with starting point guard Spencer Dinwiddie and a 2029 first-round pick
The veteran averaged 7.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.6 assists across 26 appearances – all starts – for the Nets. His three-point efficiency abandoned him (30.6%) but he is a career 35.7% shooter from deep and knocked down 41.2% of his threes in the Nets’ sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs.
More than anything, though, he continued to provide two-way versatility.
Dorian Finney-Smith Is ‘One of the Better 3-and-D Guys’
“You could see in Dallas, when they were without Finney-Smith, that defense collapsed,” the GM said. “He is one of the better 3-and-D guys out there. There is a market for him, more than for everyone else they might think about trading.”
According to the general manager, the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers are two other teams who could show interest in Finney-Smith as he heads into the second year of a four-year, $55.6 million contract. He has acknowledged that he could very well be one of the players who gets moved this offseason.
Brooklyn will likely be looking to avoid the luxury tax next season.
Brooklyn rejected several offers for Finney-Smith — including some with multiple first-rounders — at the deadline.
O’Neale, 29, averaged 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.7 assists and shot 38.9% from three. He is heading into the final year of a four-year, $36 million deal. The deal above would have to wait until July 10 when O’Neale’s contract becomes fully guaranteed for the $9.5 million he is owed instead of the $2.5 million it would currently count for in a trade.
“The Nets are looking for plug-and-play players here,” the exec said, “Not…picks or cap relief.”
This is an important distinction because the Nets effectively can not tank since they do not have control of their first-round draft picks. That means they must retool this roster while ensuring they remain competitive until their debts are paid off.
For Atlanta, this trade helps them surround Trae Young with more perimeter defenders and space the floor for Dejounte Murray drives.
Nets ‘Still Curious’ About John Collins, Says Exec
“The Nets like Collins, they had interest there even before they blew up the team,” another executive told Deveney in a previous report from early May. “They’re still curious.”
Collins, 25, may seem like damaged goods after he averaged 13.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 1.2 assists during the regular season, all of which were his lowest marks since his rookie year. But The Nets would be getting a player who is not quite in his prime and has a 20-point, 10-rebound season under his belt.
If his three-point efficiency (29.2% 3P in 2022-23) gets back to where it was then (40.1%), the Nets would be ecstatic.
Hawks general manager Landry Fields still speaks highly of Collins.
But the Hawks let Collins test free agency before signing him to that contract and his name has been floated around in every transaction cycle since.
The high-flying big man is heading into the third year of a five-year, $125 million pact with a $26.5 million player option for the 2025-26 season, a deal that has complicated his long-rumored departure from Atlanta.
Losing Finney-Smith – whom Mikal Bridges is fond of – and O’Neale would hurt the Nets’ defense but both players were brought in as appeasements for Kevin Durant who asked for and got a trade to the Phoenix Suns anyway. The Nets would be wise to extract as much value from the plethora of wings as they can while accounting for Cameron Johnson financially.