Brooklyn Nets: assessing Jeremy Lin’s trade value

Mar 12, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin (7) warming up before the game against New York Knicks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 12, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Jeremy Lin (7) warming up before the game against New York Knicks at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports /

The Brooklyn Nets‘ acquisition of D’Angelo Russell has fans wondering how he will fit with Jeremy Lin. It is possible Russell’s arrival could signal the end of “Linsanity” in Brooklyn.

“Brooklyn’s Backcourt” was a trademark filed by the Brooklyn Nets five years ago. Back then, it referred to the Nets’ duo of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson.

The term may be revived following the trade with the Los Angeles Lakers that brought in the #2 pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. D’Angelo Russell showed flashes of star potential in his two seasons with the Lakers.

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Now he has been given the keys to the Brooklyn Nets offense and has a coach in Kenny Atkinson that is looking to get the most out of the once prized prospect.

Who, though, will be his partner in crime in “Brooklyn’s Backcourt” this season?

Russell has kept contact with Jeremy Lin since being acquired by Brooklyn, per NetsDaily. The two can potentially form a fearsome offensive duo that may give opposing defenses nightmares.

It also could end up being a hypothetical.

The Nets have reported interest in J.J. Reddick, per Kevin O’Connor. Reddick could be a potential fit given his knockdown 3-point abilities and his strong on-ball defending abilities. He also has an apartment in Dumbo, the Brooklyn neighborhood that is overlooked by the Brooklyn Bridge.

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If Reddick is signed by the Nets, it won’t be cheap. The sharpshooter is looking for a contract that pays him north of $18 million annually. That would certainly require the Nets to start the shooting guard.

In that case, Lin would become an overpriced sixth man. He would also happen to be an overpriced sixth man with a player option for next season. Lin being shafted to the bench would surely give him pause about his long-term future with the Nets.

Sean Marks may look to the trade market to get a return on Lin before letting him go next summer for nothing.

Lin isn’t a superstar. He isn’t in the same class as guys like Paul George or Kevin Durant, whose departures have or would damage the championship hopes of their former teams. Marks also would do his due diligence in trying to snag an asset or two out of a potential deal. He did just trade longtime Net Brook Lopez after all.

Marks would do well to wait for a Lin trade until after free agency plays out. Teams that strike out on this year’s crop of point guards like Jrue Holiday, George Hill and Jeff Teague could come inquiring about Lin’s availability.

There are several team’s that could leave the free agency bonanza without a floor general. If New Orleans balks at Holiday’s asking price, they would left without a point guard after trading away Tim Frazier to Washington. Dallas may want to wait before giving Dennis Smith Jr. the keys to the offense.

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In both cases there are potential deals that could gain the Nets assets.

For New Orleans, the team may be handing out a monster contract next off-season to DeMarcus Cousins. They may also lose him if they can’t win this season. If the team loses Holiday for nothing, they will need a floor general. A Nets trade could cure both of those ills.

The Pelicans could offload a bad contract like Omer Asik or Solomon Hill if they could attach a draft pick. The soonest pick the Pelicans can deal is 2019 after trading this year’s pick to Sacramento as part of the Cousins trade.

In return, New Orleans would get a point guard capable of running the pick and roll with both Cousins and Anthony Davis. His $12 million price tag for the next two seasons would be roughly half of what Holiday’s deal may end up being.

The Mavericks are another intriguing destination. If the team feels that Smith Jr. isn’t ready for the position, or Rick Carlisle wants to roll with more two-point guard lineups, Lin can be an option.

The Mavericks could offer the Nets several packages in return. If the team wants to get out underneath the Wesley Matthews deal it can offer up several draft choices to Brooklyn. At least one would be a first rounder, but the team could also offer several second round choices as well.

Another offer that could potentially entice Brooklyn more given the Nets’ lack of capable big men could revolve around Dwight Powell. Powell hasn’t played much in his three year career but he has shown potential. This past season in Dallas, he shot over 50 percent from the field. His per-36 minute averages were 14 points and eight rebounds.

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Powell has two more years left on his deal and a player option for 2019-20. He is the type of undervalued talent Marks and Atkinson can maximize in Brooklyn.

Those two teams are among many that may find use for a guy like Lin. A contender may look at Lin as the final piece that puts them over. A middling team may view him as a sixth man savior, like he was during the Hornets‘ 48-34 season in 2015-16.

It is unknown whether Lin will even be a goner, though. He could serve as a mentor to Russell while also moving the needle this season in Brooklyn.

He is, however, a veteran with value. Marks may find it more useful to acquire assets and young player than to ride it out with Lin. If the backcourt in Brooklyn welcomes more new faces, Lin may not be a part of “Brooklyn’s Backcourt.”