The Brooklyn Nets are likely to trade one of their draft picks in the 2023 NBA Draft for a proven scorer or rebounder, according to the New York Post’s Brian Lewis.
Brooklyn currently holds the No. 21 and No. 22 picks in the first round of the draft after the team’s trade with the Phoenix Suns at the trade deadline earlier this season. The move sent Mikal Bridges and Cameron Johnson to Brooklyn while Kevin Durant landed with the Suns.
“Many throughout the league who spoke with The Post believe the Nets are likely to move one of those picks in a trade to find either a proven scorer or rebounder,” Lewis wrote.
“But others have suggested the team could pare down their stock of 3-and-D wings to help balance out their roster.”
The Nets have a plethora of wing talent including Bridges, Johnson (who will be a restricted free agent this coming offseason), Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith.
Brooklyn struggled scoring the ball in the playoffs this season against the Philadelphia 76ers, so it’s possible the team looks to add a strong offensive player to help mitigate the loss of Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The bright side for the Nets is that they will still have a first-round selection if they decide to move on from just one pick in the draft to improve the roster.
Brooklyn held on to the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference even after moving Durant and Irving, and Bridges played well for the team after being acquired in the trade with Phoenix.
There has to be some hope within the franchise that Bridges can be one of the team’s leading offensive options, especially after he averaged 26.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 27 games for the Nets.
In the playoffs, the Nets went small against the Sixers when center Nic Claxton was out of the game, sometimes using O’Neale to guard Joel Embiid.
It’s clear that the Nets need more help down low and on the glass, so there are several ways that they can go about using their draft capital. Since the team seems to be thinking about the playoffs more than a rebuild, adding two late first-round draft picks doesn’t seem like the best win-now move when there could be an NBA-ready player available to trade for.
It will be interesting to see who the Nets pursue this offseason.