Nets Floated as Landing Spot for Sharpshooting Former Lottery Pick

Brooklyn Nets

Getty Head coach Jacque Vaughn of the Brooklyn Nets.

The Brooklyn Nets addressed their frontcourt depth in the 2023 NBA Draft but relying on rookies while trying to be competitive is a losing proposition.

“Brooklyn needs a combo big—a tall body who can sponge up reps next to Nic Claxton but also spell him and, preferably, unlock five-out arrangements,” wrote Dan Favale of Bleacher Report on June 28. “Trey Lyles is perfectly wired for that role.”

Lyles, 27, averaged 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and just shy of 1.0 assists this past season. He shot 36.3% from beyond the arc in 2022-23 and has shot at least that well in four of his eight NBA seasons, though it has also come intermittently with the former Kentucky Wildcat also posting three seasons in which he shot below 33%.

He is coming off a two-year, $5.1 million contract.

Selected No. 12 overall in the 2015 NBA Draft, Lyles has spent time with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, and, most recently, the Sacramento Kings.

There is an expectation that Lyles back in Sacramento on a new deal next season, per Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer. But the Kings are also expected to be players for the likes of Draymond Green and Kyle Kuzma.

If there is any chance that Lyles could get squeezed out, the Nets might be able to offer a larger role and a chance at a bigger payday in another year. As it stands, the Nets figure to run out Day’Ron Sharpe behind Claxton but only have a host of wings and their draft picks to fill the spot on a nightly basis.

Things would be different if Ben Simmons were healthy – he would fit nicely next to Lyles.

While Simmons is expected to be healthy by next season, the Nets need to hedge their bets with NBA-ready players for a roster that is geared to try and compete right now.

Nets Make First Move in Free Agency

The free agency tampering period will begin at 6 p.m. E.T. on June 30 but free agency does not officially begin until July 1. Brooklyn’s front office made their first move off the offseason in that regard by tendering a qualifying offer to Cameron Johnson.

That offer – worth $7.7 million – will likely be declined, officially making Johnson a restricted free agent and giving the Nets the right of first refusal on any offer sheet he may sign.

“If the Pistons offer a four-year, $100 million contract, the Nets surely would have to think about it,” wrote James L. Edwards III of The Athletic on June 26. “A deal with an average annual value of $25 million per year isn’t bad for someone of Johnson’s skill set, even if the upside isn’t there. Detroit can offer that comfortably — and a little bit more.”

Nets general manager Sean Marks has made it clear Johnson is a priority.

And the expectation is that the Nets are prepared to match any offer Johnson could receive up and including that potential $100 million offer.

Heat Poach Nets’ Prospect

The reigning Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat snatched up one former Nets prospect, signing guard Alondes Williams to a two-way contract, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Williams, 24, was an undrafted free agent whom the Nets signed to a two-way contract last offseason. He appeared in just one game, snagging one rebound and drawing a foul in five minutes but did average 13.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.2 steals in 24 regular-season appearances for the Long Island Nets in the G League.

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