Struggling without injured Caris LeVert, there are Brooklyn Nets rumors swirling that the club has inquired about New York Knicks wing Damyean Dotson.
Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Tuesday that the Nets, along with the Detroit Pistons, have shown interest in making a deal for the former second-round pick. Brooklyn’s offense has been in something of a funk since losing Caris LeVert last month to a dislocated foot.
The 24-year-old Dotson has been white-hot over his last three games since being freed from exile by coach David Fizdale, who has done some … interesting … things with his rotation in his first year in Manhattan.
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Dotson was a DNP-CD in each of New York’s first two games — including its loss to the Nets at Barclays Center in Brooklyn’s home opener on Oct. 19.
Then Dotson played 29.4 minutes per game off the bench over the Knicks’ next three games before he made nine consecutive starts, including scoring 10 points in 28 minutes in New York’s win over the Nets at Madison Square Garden on Oct. 29.
Dotson was removed from the starting five prior to a Nov. 14 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road and played 23, 19 and 14 minutes in three straight games off the bench before drawing four straight DNP-CDs.
He’s been back as a reserve in each of the Knicks’ last four games and has been extremely hot, averaging 17.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 26.1 minutes per game on .625/650/8-for-8 shooting.
That sort of yo-yo role could leave a guy’s head spinning, but Dotson has responded well since returning to the rotation.
He was the 44th overall pick by the Knicks in the 2017 NBA Draft after playing two seasons at the University of Houston, where he transferred after being expelled from the University of Oregon along with two other players in the wake of a sexual assault investigation.
No charges were filed, but he and the others were banned from the Oregon campus for at least four years.
After a year at Houston Community College, where he did not play basketball but did take anger management courses at the John Lucas Center and Wellness Program, he enrolled at the University of Houston for his final two collegiate seasons.
In spot duty with the Knicks last season, Dotson averaged 4.1 points in 10.8 minutes per game in 44 games, shooting .447/.324/.696, while also putting up 18.2 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 35.5 minutes a night over 13 starts with the Westchester Knicks of the NBA G League. where he shot .489/.385/.767.
With the inconsistent (read: all over the freaking place) playing time, Dotson is averaging 11.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.0 steals in 26.7 minutes per game this season, playing in 19 games overall with nine starts. He’s shooting .473/.402/15-for-19 thus far.
Dotson’s contract for 2019-20 is non-guaranteed at $1.62 million with an early guarantee deadline of July 15, so acquiring him wouldn’t cut into cap space significantly.
The question would be what Brooklyn would give up to get Dotson, whose salary doesn’t fit with any of the salaries or expiring contracts the Nets might be looking to move.
The Knicks, much like the Nets, are in a rebuild and looking to add future assets, so perhaps a Dotson deal could be done for one or more of the second-round picks Brooklyn has acquired.
Brooklyn’s 2019 second-round pick is going to Orlando, after originally being traded to the Charlotte Hornets in June 2015, but the Nets own New York’s second-rounder, acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers in the Trevor Booker trade last December.
The Nets have a second-rounder coming from Indiana that is protected from 45-60 and is not likely to convey in 2019.
In 2020, the Nets’ second-rounder will go to either the 76ers or Hornets, but Brooklyn has second-round selections from Denver (in the Kenneth Faried deal) and Portland (top 55 protected and thus likely not to convey).
In 2021, Brooklyn selection in Round 2 goes to Charlotte, but the Nets have Phoenix’s pick if it falls outside of the range of picks 31-35.
And, again, there’s always that Indiana pick, which will convey no later than 2023, when the protections are removed.
Some combination of those picks could go to the Knicks to get Dotson, who has some ability to get his own shot and has been solid from 3-point range this season.
But it’s hard to imagine sending a first-rounder over the bridge to get a guy whose role would diminish rapidly once LeVert is healthy.