With the Nets grinding through a series of tight games in a tough part of the NBA schedule—six of the team’s last seven games have been decided by two possessions or fewer—and with the prospects of getting Kyrie Irving back on the floor getting increasingly dim, it’s important to remember that the team does have some useful assets at its disposal when it comes to bringing on roster additions.
The Nets have a full roster, but could pretty easily drop off a piece or two with a dump-trade, perhaps Jevon Carter or DeAndre Bembry. If they did, Brooklyn has a traded-player exception worth $11.4 million left over from the Spencer Dinwiddie deal with Washington that could be used to bring in a decent veteran player from another team.
The Nets don’t have first-round picks to offer in such a deal, though, which means the team would have to attach a second-round pick to a trade. The only pick the Nets have on hand is its 2026 second-rounder, which is not exactly a major enticement. But they can bring in one of these guys without giving up much of anything simply because they have the exception on hand.
These are something-for-nothing deals, remember. But there are some players that could help Brooklyn and could be had if the Nets want to make a push.
Daniel Theis, Rockets (Contract: Four years, $35.6 million)
This would be a good fit for the Nets, a veteran big guy with playoff experience who really has no home in Houston, the league’s ultimate rebuilding team. Theis is averaging 8.1 points and 4.9 rebounds this season, playing 23.2 minutes per game, but has been a DNP for four of the Rockets’ last five games.
He is an inconsistent shooter from the perimeter, and has a career mark of 33.1%. But he has had some good years from the arc (38.8% in 2018-19) and could add some physicality to the Nets’ frontcourt. The Rockets obviously want him out, so he could be had on the cheap.
Theis does come with a long-term financial commitment, but a reasonable one that could easily be included in a future trade.)
Tristan Thompson, Kings (Contract: One year, $9.7 million)
Thompson has rubbed just about everyone the wrong way—management, coaches, teammates—in Sacramento, and the Kings would not be disappointed to be rid of him. But he is an experienced rebounder with a championship ring and four Finals appearances to his credit. He would fit much more naturally with the Nets’ veterans than with the Kings youngsters.
Thompson famously erupted at a question about coaching last month.
Thompson is averaging career lows across the board, in rebounding (5.4), points (5.7) and minutes (13.8). The Kings do not need him, but on a Nets team that has struggled to find answers in the middle, Thompson could make an impact.
Tomas Satoransky, Pelicans (Contract: One year, $10 million)
Sato has struggled badly with the Pelicans after coming over from the Bulls in the Lonzo Ball deal. He’s averaged 2.8 points and 2.2 assists, shooting just 32.8% from the field and 21.4% from the 3-point line. He is a 30-year-old vet getting 15.5 minutes per game for a 7-18 team that must start relying on young players more.
In other words, it’s time to dump him. He could be useful for the Nets, especially as it becomes more likely that Irving won’t be playing for Brooklyn this season. Satoransky is a reliable wing who is a decent enough secondary playmaker and can knock down enough 3-pointers (36.3% for his career) to give the bench offense a jolt.