The All-Star Weekend is in the rearview mirror, and now it is time to see what the Nets will do at this week’s trade deadline.
General manager Billy King is widely believed to have put all of his eggs in the “win now” basket, mortgaging the Nets’ future in the process. Now, he and the Nets must figure out if the roster as it is currently assembled can truly challenge the Heat and Pacers in the postseason.
And that raises a bigger question: can this team actually win now?
The Nets have had a nice 2014 thus far, but the team is not a true title contender. And with next to no future draft picks and very little by way of roster assets, it is hard to see them getting better anytime soon. However, there is one horse in the Nets’ stable that would certainly pique some interest around the NBA: Brook Lopez.
Trading Brook Lopez would not be an easy pill to swallow. He is arguably the Nets’ best player, he is young — in the prime of his career — and he is affordable.
The returns he could bring the Nets may be diminished because he is coming off his second major foot surgery, but at some point the Nets will have to address the future — one that appears to be just fine without the big man, whose season-ending injury forced the team to discover its identity.
With no draft picks and a ton of bloated contracts, the Nets don’t have many pieces that they can move to make “winning now” a reality.
Moving Lopez could not only make the Nets a better team in the future with draft picks in return, but could also fetch a player who could help them for the remainder of this year.
Tom Lafe is a 6-foot-5 sports-world insider with a middling high school basketball career who believes the Nets will be driven by the success of the team’s big men.