Nets Floated as Landing Spot for Title Contender’s Troubled $128M Star

Jacque Vaugh, Brooklyn Nets

Getty Head coach Jacque Vaughn of the Brooklyn Nets.

With the postseason reaching its apex, and teams like the Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors already eliminated, the speculation has already begun on potential moves to improve those teams sitting at home this time of year.

In the Nets and Warriors’ respective cases, working out a trade this offseason could benefit both sides.

Nets get:

Warriors get:

This proposal is courtesy of Bryan Toporek from the ‘NBA Podcast’ on May 12 who also suggested the Charlotte Hornets as a possible landing spot for the Warriors youngster.

“Royce O’Neale…would be really good for Golden State,” said Toporek’s co-host and Forbes contributor Morten Jensen. “Royce O’Neale and Spencer Dinwiddie, that’s got some pull to it.”

For all of the negative publicity his poor postseason run received, it almost goes unnoticed that Poole averaged career-highs with 20.4 points and 4.5 assists per game during the regular season. He was inefficient in getting there, slashing .430/.336/.870 in the process.

Still, this is a former first-round pick (No. 28 overall in 2019) who has already shown a willingness and ability to overcome adversity having worked his way back from the G League and into the Warriors rotation even helping them win a championship last season. Poole averaged 17.0 points on 50.8% shooting and hit 39.1% of his threes during that run to the NBA Finals.

Heading into the first year of a four-year, $128 million contract, Poole is tied with New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum for the 21st-highest average annual value among guards, per Spotrac.

Poole turns 24 years old in June and could be a better long-term solution at one of the guard spots than what the Nets have.

He may be available after a preseason fight with teammate Draymond Green lingered all season.

Nets Would Still Have the Defenders to Cover for Jordan Poole

Dinwiddie, 30, is heading into the final year of his three-year, $54 million contract and is eligible for an extension worth up to $128 million over four years, per former Nets assistant general manager and current ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks, who argues they should hold off at that high of a price.

O’Neale will turn 30 years old in June. He is heading into the final year of a four-year, $36 million contract with only $2.5 million of the $9.5 million that he is owed guaranteed.

Even if the Nets were to move this pair of veterans, they would still boast a seasoned group in Mikal Bridges who turns 27 years old in August, Nic Claxton who turned 24 years old in April, and potential Cameron Johnson (27) who is a restricted free agent and a priority.

If the Nets can retain him, they would have more than enough to overcome Poole’s often porous defense if they wanted to swing a deal.

They might also see no reason to go after Poole at all.

Cam Thomas is Nets’ Version of Jordan Poole

Brooklyn already has a one-dimensional guard in Cam Thomas who set NBA records with back-to-back-to-back 40-point games in early February, averaging 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists but posting 3.7 turnovers as well.

Thomas was not always satisfied with his role. But Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn made no bones about why the 21-year-old couldn’t see the floor consistently. The youngster dropped 46 points but took 29 shots and suffered a loss in the regular season finale versus the Philadelphia 76ers who swept the Nets in the playoffs.

“I wish the score was 134 Brooklyn Nets, 105 Philadelphia,” Vaughn told Erik Slater of Clutch Points on April 9. “I think that part helps – is that the goal is you win as a team. So 46 points is great but we end up losing by 30. So you’ve got to attach those together. How do you marry the 29 shots or the 30 shots to being a productive teammate where you might not get that amount of shots in a typical game? That’s the question. So can you harness and take that ability and be able to do it in the shorter amount of time? In a more efficient time? And in a setting that it benefits the entire team? That’s the challenge.”

Would the Nets prefer a more-proven commodity in Poole over the know drawbacks of dealing with Thomas?

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