Nets Targeting $80 Million Center to Fill Out Starting Lineup

Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks

Getty Brooklyn Nets GM Sean Marks addresses the media prior to a game against the New York Knicks.

The return of Irving and Durant set the stage for the Brooklyn Nets to see their currently constructed big three that included Ben Simmons play for the first time since they traded for Simmons at the February trade deadline. Simmons is healthy and anticipated to return from injury for training camp and the season. Nets head coach Steve Nash said he expects to use Simmons in the starting lineup and can even start him at center in small-ball lineup for the Nets. 

With Simmons’ history of back problems, playing extensive minutes banging in the paint with 300-pound big men may not be the most viable option for the Nets moving forward. Nets beat writer Kristian Winfield noted that concern in a recent appearance on The Athletic NBA Show and mentioned some more permanent full-time big men the Nets are known to be targeting. 

Nets Targeting Myles Turner via Trade

In a conversation with The Athletic’s David Aldridge and Marcus Thompson on ‘The Athletic NBA Show,’ Winfield shared his concerns with the injury-riddled guard playing long minutes at center and noted that Nic Claxton may not be ready to start and that the Nets are currently looking for centers and even mentioned one player the Nets are targeting. 

“I think that A. we are going to see Nic Claxton start, or B. the Nets are going to use that mid-level or trade for another center. I’m pretty sure they are still trying to trade for a center. I’m just not sure who at this point.” Winfield said. “I’ve heard Myles Turner, but I guess we’ll find out if they are actually able to.” 

Turner makes a lot of sense for the Nets. The seven-footer has long been a coveted big man amongst NBA trade proposals to the Indiana Pacers. He would bring a versatile defensive presence and his league-leading shot-blocking ability to Brooklyn’s already deep lineup. Brooklyn could have an insane starting lineup of Kyrie Irving, Seth Curry, Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and Myles Turner.

Other Big Men Targets for the Nets

If Brooklyn isn’t able to negotiate a trade for Turner, they have also been said to have interest in Hassan Whiteside and in Dwight Howard. Howard has already shared that he would be interested in playing in Brooklyn, and sources confirmed that the Nets are open to the pairing with the All-Star center as well. 

Both Howard and Whiteside would bring a bunch of rebounds and blocked shots for the Nets. If they can settle into the role that they would have in Brooklyn, they would fit in rather nicely for a team that needs big men depth. 

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