Report: Brooklyn Nets seeking ‘real 1st-round equity’ for Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale

David Akerman
3 Min Read
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are in an interesting spot this offseason, as they have plenty of draft picks they could use to swing a trade for a superstar like Damian Lillard.

The team also has plenty of talent on the roster already.

Brooklyn currently holds the No. 21 and No. 22 picks in the first round of the 2023 NBA Draft and could add to its arsenal if it decides to trade away wings Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale.

The Nets are reportedly seeking “real first-round pick equity” for the two players and not just looking to move up a few spots in the draft, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe.

There is interest in both players, according to a recent report.

“Multiple reports have already said Cam Johnson is expected to return, but league sources say Brooklyn has received a number of calls for two veteran wings in Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith,” wrote The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

Interest from around the league in the two players is nothing new. The Nets reportedly declined offers from teams that were willing to trade two first-round picks for Finney-Smith ahead of the trade deadline this season. The Cleveland Cavaliers were apparently interested in acquiring O’Neale.

Finney-Smith averaged 8.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game this season while knocking down 39.1 percent of his shots from the field and 33.7 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. He struggled with Brooklyn after being acquired by the team in the trade headlined by Kyrie Irving.

Despite those struggles, the University of Florida product could easily help contenders across the league with his 3-and-D ability. He was recently linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, who seem like they’re primed to trade away their first-round pick in this year’s draft.

As for O’Neale, he spent the whole season with the Nets, registering 8.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game on 38.6 percent shooting from the field and 38.9 percent shooting from 3-point range. Like Finney-Smith, he could bring value to a contender in a 3-and-D role.

It’ll be interesting to see exactly what the Nets decide to do this offseason. Mikal Bridges looked like a franchise cornerstone during the second half of the season, but the team doesn’t really have enough to compete with the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

That’s where a possible trade for Lillard would come in. Acquiring the Portland Trail Blazers superstar guard would improve the Nets a lot, though it probably still wouldn’t be enough to make them prime contenders.

Perhaps they could use some of the many draft picks they currently have and ones they might acquire from dealing Finney-Smith and/or O’Neale to send shock waves through the league this summer.

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David is a Miami native and University of Maryland graduate who has experience in writing, editing and video production. He has been following the NBA and NFL for as long as he can remember.