http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/12004817/brooklyn-nets-exploring-trades-deron-williams-brook-lopez-joe-johnsonNEW YORK -- The Brooklyn Nets have begun reaching out to teams to let them know that former All-Stars Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson are all available via trade, ESPN.com has learned.
League sources told ESPN.com that the Nets, off to a disappointing 8-11 start and looking to retool after last season's $190 million roster filled with veterans couldn't advance beyond the second round of the playoffs, have let it be known that they are prepared to move any of those franchise cornerstones in what would likely be separate deals if they came to fruition because of the high salaries each possess.
Sources say no trade is imminent involving any of the three players.
The exploratory discussions with various teams are the strongest indication yet that the Nets are looking to shake up their roster after a tumultuous 2013-14 campaign in which they started 10-21 under rookie coach Jason Kidd. But they did rally to reach the playoffs and beat the Toronto Raptors in a first-round series despite another season of ups and downs for Williams and the injury-plagued Lopez alongside Kevin Garnett and the since-departed Paul Pierce.
Yet sources insist that the Nets haven't abandoned their recent "win-now mentality" and aren't merely looking to dump salary. Brooklyn's hope, sources said, is eventually to construct a deal or two that bring back sufficient talent that enables the Nets remain a playoff team.
The Nets have built their team around Williams, 30, and Lopez, 26, dating to the February 2010 trade to acquire the former from the Utah Jazz. Both have since signed maximum contracts alongside another max player in Johnson, whom Brooklyn acquired in the summer of 2012 to help fend off the Dallas Mavericks and re-sign Williams when he was a free agent.
But the Nets, still sporting a hefty $94 million payroll this season after spending nearly $190 million in salary and luxury taxes last season, have not enjoyed the kind of results they had hoped for under new coach Lionel Hollins.
When asked by reporters Dec. 1 if he thought that the core of Williams, Johnson and Lopez could win, Nets general manager Billy King said: "We'll see."
And when pressed about the possibility of making changes to the roster, King acknowledged that "we're on the phones, we're talking to people, but there's nothing imminent."
The reality, of course, is that trading Williams, Lopez or Johnson, let alone a combination of those three, is likely to be difficult.
True Detective.You're Ravi, aren't you?
Well, as a fan of the team that has their next three drafts after this one, I'm elated, but I posted this in the Nets forum regarding potential trades...True Detective.
I don't see any trades going down. None of them are really complimentary players that a contender would seek, all are on big $$ so teams would need to give up A LOT of their role players to make up the 80% contract value or whatever it is.
Brooklyn are just in a terrible spot - who would have thunk it after they signed all those horrible contracts?
If you're Charlotte, and you're looking at paying Lance Stephenson, Gerald Henderson, and Marvin Williams roughly $22.5 million next year, $24 million for Joe Johnson and his outside shooting isn't that bad, particularly if the Nets stapled on out-of-the-rotation Mason Plumlee as a sweetener that also gives them additional tax relief and maybe cleans up the locker room atmosphere a little.In all seriousness though, if Lance Stephenson continues to emphatically not work out in Charlotte, I feel like there might be something to a trade built around Joe Johnson, Lance Stephenson, and contracts Charlotte no longer wants. It gets the Hornets a shooter to space the floor who can also produce buckets by himself at the end of the shot clock, and it gives the Nets a young high-upside guy to sell to the fans who is theoretically a win-now piece (plus the whole Born Ready coming home to Brooklyn thing, which I think would be a disaster, but would still generate lots of buzz).
They'll consider moving them separately? No shit. I doubt anyone was going to trade their entire roster for Lopez, Johnson and Williams.
Honestly, if the Knicks haven't already given up on this season, I could see them making a lowball offer on Lopez and seeing how he works in the triangle-lite system they're running. This is the second year in a row the Nets have looked better after Lopez went down with an injury, and dumping his money next season would get them out of a tax hell a year earlier. On the Knicks' side of things - if it doesn't cost you much more than Bargnani's expiring and feuding-with-Carmelo Tim Hardaway Jr, then the only reason I can think of to not upgrade the current Jason Smith-Sam Dalembert-Cole Aldrich center platoon is if you think you have a shot at Marc Gasol this summer. For the record, I don't think Gasol's leaving Memphis to go to that madhouse, no matter what kind of recommendation Pau gives Phil.CHARLOTTE -- The Brooklyn Nets looked an awful lot like they used to look last season Saturday night in Charlotte: the ball was moving, the floor was spaced and Joe Johnson was dominating the game.
They shot 58.3 percent from the field, made a season-high 16 3-pointers, dished out a season-high 29 assists and Johnson scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the first quarter.
Add it all up, and you get an easy 114-87 blowout victory over the floundering Hornets at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Of course, all of this was accomplished without Brook Lopez, who missed his fourth straight game due to a lower back strain. The Nets plan to give an update on Lopez’s status Monday.
Basically, what it all boils down to is this: either Lopez is going to have to change his game or the Nets are going to have to trade him.
“I don’t know, hopefully we can,” Deron Williams responded when asked if the team can keep this up when Lopez comes back from injury. “We need to. That’s how we want to play. I think everybody understands that, when the ball’s moving around like that, it’s fun to play like that. You get into a rhythm, you feed off each other’s energy and it’s good to see.”
When Brook Lopez returns, will he change his game to fit the Nets?
Lopez’s low-post scoring ability is rivaled by few if any centers in the NBA. He ranks second in points per half- court touch behind only potential MVP candidate Anthony Davis. But he’s a known ball-stopper, and the Nets don’t flow as well or look as pleasing aesthetically with him on the court. This season, Lopez has just 12 assists on 629 touches. And over the last two years, the Nets are 14-19 with the 7-footer in their lineup. In 2013-14, Lopez posted a 102.5 offensive rating and a 102.7 defensive rating. In 2014-15, he’s posted a 100.2 offensive rating and a 103.5 defensive rating.
“When Brook’s on the floor we just try to play through Brook so much, maybe force-feed him at times,” Johnson said Thursday. “But when he’s not on the floor, I think collectively as a team everybody kinda takes it upon themselves to make plays, to be more aggressive, to assert themselves a little more into the offense. We just have to find that fine line to where we all can be effective playing with one another.”
He's no Pau Gasol, but then again nobody this side of Pau's brother is either. Color me skeptical that Lopez can't learn to read a defense and kick the ball out to an open man better than Dalembert and Quincy Acy can.most of this thread is about the fact that he is a black hole/ball stopper (so yeah, technically 'can' he pass? sure. 'does' he pass? '12 assists on 629 touches'.) - they already have Melo not buying into the triangle so is doubling down the right move?
....and yet he's had seasons where he averaged twice as many assists a night in systems that didn't ask the center to pass as much as this version of the triangle does. As I said, unless they're going to make a big offer to Greg Monroe, there aren't many better options out there if they don't have any luck on lottery night.I should have just shortened my original response to: "12 assists on 629 touches" - he's just not thusly inclined