Nets Answer Glaring Need in Proposed Trade for $13.8 Million ‘Rebounding Specialist’

Sean Marks

Getty Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks answers questions during a press conference

The NBA trade deadline is quickly approaching. According to an Eastern Conference executive, the Brooklyn Nets are “as active as anyone” as it draws nearer. With Kyrie Irving in the final year of his contract, the Nets are in win-now mode and is looking to add for players to play alongside their core of Kevin Durant, Ben Simmons, and Irving. So far, the Nets have been linked to players like John Collins, Kyle Kuzma, Bojan Bogdanovic, and even most recently Gordon Hayward, but on Friday, January 6, ESPN front office insider Bobby Marks proposed a trade of his own that the Nets could make at the deadline.

Nets Trade Proposal for Rebounding Specialist

On the latest episode of The Lowe Post podcast with ESPN’s Zach Lowe, Marks shared a proposal that Brooklyn could make to bring in a rebounding specialist at the trade deadline in a trade for Utah Jazz forward Jarred Vanderbilt.

“You talked a little bit about Jarred Vanderbilt here. In the Brooklyn section, I proposed a Brooklyn trade for Jarred Vanderbilt. Day’Ron Sharpe, Kessler Edwards, and the Philly pick for 2027 that’s protected top-7. If I’m the Nets, I take that and protect it 8-14 that they would keep, and the first goes to Utah for Vanderbilt, and you get a specialist for, you know, rebounding. The problem is you already have [Ben] Simmons, and Nic Claxton on your team, who I guess are quasi-specialists already. But if you’re Brooklyn and you’re kind of looking to shore up your rebounding, it gives you another length guy. That’s my Vanderbilt trade,” Marks said via The Lowe Post podcast. 

Nets Receive: Jarred Vanderbilt

Jazz Receive: Day’Ron Sharpe, Kessler Edwards, and a 2027 first round pick (via the Philadelphia 76ers)

The deal has a lot of upside for the Nets. Vanderbilt has averaged 8.8 points and 8.0 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game for the Jazz this season. He also has shot 35.3 percent from behind the arc, which would give Brooklyn a big guy with the potential to stretch the floor. The Nets currently rank 27th in the league in rebounding, and adding Vanderbilt could be a major upgrade as they approach a postseason run. 

Is This a Good Trade for Brooklyn?

For the Nets, Vanderbilt answers a glaring need with rebounding. He has the ability to space the floor with his shooting and is a strong defender that can defend multiple positions, similar to Claxton and Simmons. 

The Nets would give up Day’Ron Sharpe, who, prior to the season, was named one of the NBA’s ‘best-kept secrets.’ The Nets were linked to signing a free agent center this offseason, but Sean Marks chose to give Claxton and Sharpe an opportunity to prove themselves. Claxton has excelled, but Sharpe has struggled and was sent to the G-League as a result. The second-year center has shown flashes, including his 20-point and 12-rebound performance on December 10 against the Indiana Pacers.

Kessler Edwards would also be part of the trade. Edwards has only appeared in 13 games for the Nets this season and is averaging 5.7 minutes per appearance. The undrafted forward is liked by the Nets organization, and they elected to have Edwards on their postseason run in the 2021-22 NBA season over veteran forward James Johnson, but he has struggled to find his role this season in Brooklyn. 

The first-round pick isn’t until 2027 and doesn’t change much of the immediate future of the Nets. It is a pick acquired in the James Harden trade with Philadelphia, and with Brooklyn, in win-now mode, it’s a deal that is worth the trade and gives Utah what they are looking for most, draft picks. 

For players that are currently out of the Nets rotation and a pick four years from now, Brooklyn can solve a need and improve their frontcourt with rebounding and a stretch four. Vanderbilt would slide nicely into their frontcourt and contribute on both sides of the floor. The forward could make an immediate impact as they challenge the Eastern Conference and a hopeful NBA title run. 

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