With the Brooklyn Nets now holding the NBA’s longest active winning streak at 6 straight games, there are reports the Nets could be looking to add pieces.
The Brooklyn Nets are officially the hottest team in the NBA, owners of the league’s longest active winning streak after the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped the Indiana Pacers seven-game streak with a victory at Indianapolis Tuesday night.
The Nets ran their streak to six straight games with a 115-110 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, improving to 14-18 on the season.
The leaves Brooklyn just a half-game behind the ninth-place Miami Heat (13-16) in the Eastern Conference and 1½ games in back of the Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic (both 14-15), who share seventh place.
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They’re also just two games behind the sixth-place Detroit Pistons (14-14), who are in a free fall right now after losing seven of their last eight games.
That has led to some rumblings around the league that general manager Sean Marks reportedly hinting to teams that the Nets could be looking to buy at the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, that’s just what’s happening in Brooklyn.
The problem at this point is figuring out who might be selling and what they have to offer.
The Nets have Kenneth Faried‘s expiring contract at $13.8 million for this season that seems the piece most ripe for Marks to try and move in a deal, along with having the Denver Nuggets’ 2019 first-rounder that was acquired in the same deal as Faried last July.
That pick is top-12 protected and is likely to convey to Brooklyn at this point. as the Nuggets (21-9) own the second-best record in the NBA at this point.
There appear to only be five teams that would be on the seller’s list at this point. The fourth through 14th place teams in the Western Conference are within four games of each other, leaving only the Phoenix Suns as certain non-contenders as of the week before Christmas.
In the East, the New York Knicks, Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls are well off the playoff pace, with 12th-place New York the closest at 6½ games behind Charlotte and Orlando.
The problem with trades this season is that outside of the Sacramento Kings, every team is over the salary cap, with seven teams over the luxury tax threshold, per Jeff Siegel of Early Bird Rights.
Here’s a look at the five likeliest teams to be selling on or before Feb. 7 (the Suns already moved Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards, so that market is already percolating).
This is looking at potential trade targets that would not cut into the 2019-20 salary cap space, because it’s at least a starting point when looking at what’s out there given what should still be a rich market next summer.