The Brooklyn Nets (29-17) are still in the market for upgrades to the roster even as they have turned their four-game skid into a two-game winning streak. With Kevin Durant set to be out for another couple of weeks at the very least and possibly longer, those plans don’t appear to be changing ahead of the February 9 deadline.
“I’ve heard from league sources that the Nets have also inquired about [Naz] Reid,” reports Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, “so there would be competition for him if Minnesota chose to move him, though the price for the upcoming free agent wouldn’t be significant.”
O’Connor jibes with Seth Partnow of The Atheltic that the Nets “immediately come to mind” as one of the teams who could be interested in the 6-foot-9 big man.
It’s not a cut-and-dry situation, however.
Nets Have Eyes For Naz Reid
Reid, a former undrafted LSU product, has worked his way from a two-way contract to one of the more desirable trade options this cycle. He has put together a solid run amid a prolonged injury-related absence by Karl-Anthony Towns and the poor results with Rudy Gobert after a massive investment of both draft and player assets.
The issue, as Patrnow explained, is that Towns’ absence has left Minnesota in a bind.
Do they hold onto him since they need the depth without Towns available? Or, in the scenario that could benefit Brooklyn, do the Timberwolves realize they cannot afford to retain him as he prepares for unrestricted free agency?
It is a scenario Partnow says could get pricey which could be an impetus for teams to make a move sooner rather than later.
Even with the Los Angeles Lakers potentially setting the market for players around Reid’s level of production – 10.2 points on 61.3% true shooting with 4.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks – the Nets could be challenged to come up with a package that beats some of the other potential suitors which Partnow reported included the Los Angeles Clippers.
He is shooting just over 32% from deep this season but has shot 35% on low volume over an entire season in 2021. But, the Nets do intend on being aggressive ahead of the February 9 trade deadline.
“They have been determined since they made the coaching change and started turning things around, they have wanted to make some personnel changes,” league sources tell Heavy Sports NBA insider Sean Deveney. “Durant being hurt, that does not change things for them…They were always very aggressive in looking for ways to get better.”
A Warning Against That Plan
Not everyone believes the Nets need to go all-in and it’s not for the same reason as big man Nic Claxton who has been adamant that he believes they have everything they need as currently constructed.
“Brooklyn is good enough to win a title with KD and absolutely toast without him,” writes Dan Favale for Bleacher Report. There’s no effective planning around his extended absence when your co-stars are the wildly talented-yet-not-transcendentally-uplifting Kyrie Irving and ultra-ultra-ultra low-volume Ben Simmons. If you can’t count on Durant to hold up through the postseason, that’s actually a reason not to buy.”
To Favale’s point, the Nets’ assets are limited.
They can next trade a first-round pick in 2028, a second-rounder potentially as soon as this year or as far out as 2026. Their players — Ben Simmons, Cam Thomas, or Seth Curry — won’t bring much back on their own.
He does make sure to say trading Claxton would be “malpractice” but that has not been reported as being under consideration amid the fourth-year big’s breakout. Fortunately for Claxton, it would appear that Brooklyn’s interest is in a proper backup for Claxton with reported interest in Bucks’ exile Serge Ibaka and now Reid.