Nets Could Make 3-Team Blockbuster Trade for $85 Million 6-Time All-Star, Says NBA Exec

NBA Trade Rumors

Getty The Nets appear to be looking to trade Joe Harris.

The Brooklyn Nets face plenty of decisions as the NBA trade deadline looms on February 9, 2023, and the franchise sits within striking distance atop the Eastern Conference. During exclusive conversations with Heavy Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney, one Eastern Conference executive floated a potential three-way blockbuster trade that has the Nets landing six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry.

The proposed deal also involves the Timberwolves and Heat with former Nets guard D’Angelo Russell being traded to Miami. Brooklyn would be moving Joe Harris and Patty Mills to Minnesota as part of the deal in exchange for Lowry.

“Minnesota would make some sense, too, they are looking to add a shooter, but they probably can’t make anything major happen unless they move D’Angelo Russell,” the NBA exec told Heavy Sports. “He is not going back to Brooklyn, not with Kyrie there, but in a three-way deal, it could work—Russell in Miami, Kyle Lowry going to Brooklyn, Harris and Patty Mills to Minnesota. Does that solve the Nets’ problems? No, but Lowry would be a really good guy to have on their bench.”

Is the Nets Upgrading to Lowry Worth His $28.3 Million Salary?

This trade proposal brings up numerous questions on the Nets side including how Lowry would fit alongside the current Brooklyn guards, namely Kyrie Irving. There is also the reality that Lowry is no longer playing like the veteran who earned six straight All-Star appearances from 2015 to 2020.

Lowry is on pace to have his worst statistical season since 2009-2010 when the guard played with the Rockets. The veteran is averaging 12.8 points, 5.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game during his 39 starts this season.

Yet, comparing this version of Lowry to his former All-Star self is not necessarily relevant to the conversation. The bigger question for the Nets front office is whether Lowry is a better fit than Harris as the team hopes to make a deep playoff run. Harris is averaging 8.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 39.7% from long range in 39 appearances for Brooklyn in 2022-23.

This is not the kind of production expected from a player on a four-year, $75 million contract. Harris has a sizable $18.6 million salary making his trade value tricky with his deal running through the 2023-24 season.

The challenge is Lowry’s $85 million contract is even worse as the former All-Star’s deal also runs through 2024. Lowry has a sizable $28.3 million salary this season, nearly $10 million higher than Harris.

The Nets May Need to Attach a Draft Pick to Trade Harris

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Former Nets exec turned ESPN analyst Bobby Marks believes Brooklyn would need to attach future draft picks for a team to be willing to take on Harris’ contract. This deal could be an exception given Lowry’s contract is also less than desirable. Marks also predicts the Nets are more likely to add a big man than pursue a guard.

“Unless Brooklyn is willing to attach draft compensation, it is unlikely the $38 million owed to Joe Harris has value in a trade,” Marks detailed on January 23. “Harris has played a total of 49 games in the past two seasons and this season he is shooting 37.8% from 3 — his worst since his early years with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Nets have a 2027 first from Philadelphia and their own first in 2028 or 2029 to use in a trade.”

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