If the 2020-21 season taught the Nets anything, it’s that for a top-heavy roster with three superstars leading the way, depth is crucial.
It’s important when you’re hit with a rash of injuries the way the Nets were this season, sure. But it’s also important ahead of what will be a busy offseason for Brooklyn, which has a ton of players set to hit free agency.
With that in mind, one analyst thinks the Nets should pull the trigger on a deal that pads their depth in addition to giving them a veteran who has a knack for being in the middle of everything.
ALL the latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
ESPN Analyst Lays out Nets Trade for Thaddeus Young
Thaddeus Young was named the 2020-21 NBA Hustle Award winner, given annually to the player who best does the little things that don’t often show up in the traditional box score.
He’s exactly the caliber of veteran that the Nets need, according to Bobby Marks, ESPN’s NBA front office insider. Marks cites the looming free agency of Jeff Green and Blake Griffin as an important prompt to execute a trade that lands them this type of depth at power forward and center.
The 6-foot-8 Young averaged 12.1 points (on 55.9 percent shooting), 6.2 rebonds and 4.3 assists in 68 games for the Bulls this past season.
In a piece for ESPN that published on Wednesday, Marks laid out the specifics of his idea for a trade that lands Young in Brooklyn:
- Chicago Bulls receive: Spencer Dinwiddie (sign-and-trade deal)
- Brooklyn Nets receive: Thaddeus Young and 2026 second from OKC (protected 31-55)
- Oklahoma City Thunder receive: DeAndre Jordan and 2021 Brooklyn first (No. 27)
Marks also elaborated more on why the move makes all the sense in the world for the Nets:
The Nets enter the offseason with limited options on how to improve their roster beyond their own free agents. Signing and trading Dinwiddie (starting salary of $18 million) would help balance their roster. With the trade for James Harden, Dinwiddie is an expensive insurance policy off the Nets’ bench. If Brooklyn signed him outright, its luxury tax bill increases from $40 million to $114 million, and the high cost is before factoring in restricted free agent Bruce Brown and using the $5.9 million tax midlevel exception.
The addition of Young gives Brooklyn much-needed depth at power forward and center, given that Jeff Green and Blake Griffin are both unrestricted free agents this offseason. Moving off of the Jordan contract (two years, $20 million) would offset the $14.9 million owed to Young. The Nets would also create a $9.9 million trade exception.
Follow the Heavy on Nets Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Brooklyn!
Young’s Numbers Don’t Lie
Young had four straight top-nine finishes for the NBA Hustle Award prior to winning it this year. So no, him winning it for the 2020-21 campaign was no fluke.
Young led the league in charges drawn per minute and loose balls recovered. The 33-year-old also was ninth in offensive box outs, 15th in deflections and 18th in screen assists.