The Brooklyn Nets were 6-7 entering their matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the game in which Caris LeVert took a hard fall contesting a layup and dislocated his foot.
The grotesque injury evoked the worst memories of injuries sustained by Paul George and Gordon Hayward, but luckily was “only” a dislocation, as many feared it was much worse at the time of the injury.
Since then the Nets are 2-6, while surrendering 115.13 points per game over that eight-game stretch.
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It is no surprise this team has struggled mightily since the injury to LeVert, who was a strong candidate for the league’s Most Improved Player award. The thinking of the Nets front office should change after these circumstances.
A team that looked like it could be buying at the trade deadline has turned into one that should be looking to sell.
As the playoffs look out of reach for the current season for the Brooklyn Nets, they can follow the route of many teams before them by dealing players on expiring contracts and acquiring more assets.
It’s a tough pill to swallow for many franchises, especially the Nets — who looked so promising 10 games into the season — after a very tough five-year stretch for the franchise that saw a lot of losing.
D’Angelo Russell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are the two Nets that are restricted free agents next summer, two players I believe the Nets should invest in assuming they can’t strike a deal with any of the bigger-name potential free agents like Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard and Kyrie Irving.
The Nets have a glut of forwards, so moving Carroll and Dudley to a contender looking for forwards that can space the floor and defend the perimeter should be easy.
Neither of these guys sound like they’re in the future plans of the Brooklyn Nets anyway, even though Dudley has been a pleasant surprise and a leader for this young Nets team.
Dinwiddie is a guy that has singlehandedly won the Nets a few games this year and is certainly a crowd favorite, but moving him to a team like the Orlando Magic — who are in need of a point guard — could bring in a hefty reward for the Nets moving forward.
Davis has been really solid for the Nets so far, rebounding and defending other team’s bigs night in and night out, so moving him for cheap wouldn’t be in the Nets’ best interest. He also is a veteran in his ninth season who can be a mentor to the promising big, Jarrett Allen.
Moving Dudley, Carroll, Dinwiddie or someone else for a first-round pick in this year’s draft could be huge. It’s a draft in which the Nets finally have their own pick, so losing wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to acquire a higher draft pick.
It’s sacrificing the short-term gratification of being a near-playoff team for having the opportunity to move up in the lottery and select a better prospect.
It’s a difficult trade off for some to understand, especially after four consecutive losing seasons, but one that may ultimately benefit the Nets in the long run.
General manager Sean Marks has been able to swindle opposing GMs in the past with trades, so let’s see if he’s got a couple more moves up his sleeves as he builds a contender for years to come in Brooklyn.