The NBA trade deadline is finally upon us, meaning the Brooklyn Nets have just a few hours left if they hope to improve their championship-caliber squad by exchanging players with another team.
The deadline is at 3 p.m. EST on Thursday.
By now, the rumor mill is churning at full force. One potential trade partner is an intriguing option for several reasons.
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Dinwiddie to Miami?
After landing James Harden through a four-team deal in January, the Nets’ cupboard of tradable assets is dry — but not completely dry. They still have Spencer Dinwiddie to tangle in front of teams as trade bait.
Dinwiddie, 27, proved to be an emerging star last season by averaging a career-best 20.6 points and 6.8 assists for the Nets. But he suffered a partially torn ACL in December, derailing his momentum and likely ending his 2020-21 campaign, though he’s yet to rule himself out.
With the Nets’ window for a championship wide open, they’ve reportedly been shopping Dinwiddie ahead of the deadline. Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill reported Tuesday that the Miami Heat could be a viable trade partner.
Details from Goodwill are here:
The Brooklyn Nets are searching for more bench help. Sources tell Yahoo Sports they’ve dangled the rehabbing Spencer Dinwiddie and a second-round pick. Miami is an intriguing option, according to sources — Mo Harkless, Avery Bradley and Kendrick Nunn have been discussed. Dinwiddie also has a player option headed into the offseason, so Brooklyn could hold onto him and go the sign-and-trade route.
Based on the contracts and salary cap situations for the players and teams involved, this trade would work, according to ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
The question, of course, is if both teams would agree to it. The Heat, at 22-22, are sixth in the Eastern Conference standings and might shy away from parting with depth pieces in exchange for a future asset as they eye the postseason.
Bradley, a two-time NBA All-Defensive teamer, hasn’t played since February 3 as he’s dealt with a calf injury. Still, the Nets have been in the market for a defensive-minded guard — their trial runs with Iman Shumpert and Andre Roberson earlier this season didn’t pan out — and the 30-year-old Bradley could be the answer if he gets healthy.
Harkless, a 6-foot-7 forward, has a reputation as a good defender, but he’s been a total nonfactor for Miami this season. A combination of injuries and a lack of minutes when he has been available are to blame. The 27-year-old is averaging just 1.4 points and 1.2 rebounds in 11 games this season.
Nunn, 25, has been solid this year with averages of 13.0 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 35 games for the Heat, including 23 starts. The 6-foot-2 guard is in his second NBA season after going undrafted out of Oakland in 2018.
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Spencer Dinwiddie Expected to Opt Out
Dinwiddie is expected to opt out of his $12.3 million player option for next season, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on March 6. The expectation that Dinwiddie will opt out after this season is significant in that it should further compel Brooklyn to look to trade him ahead of the deadline. For the win-now Nets, getting back assets for Dinwiddie now makes sense considering he could walk away for nothing after the season.
Dinwiddie has value because an acquiring team would retain his Bird rights, allowing it to exceed the cap to re-sign him as a free agent.