Where Brooklyn Nets stand in East after rivals’ trade deadlines

James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
James Harden (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

The Brooklyn Nets didn’t make any moves at the trade deadline, but they can’t be faulted for not giving it the old college try. While rivals like the Philadelphia 76ers were trying, ultimately unsuccessfully, to acquire a potential game-changer like Kyle Lowry, Brooklyn was looking to add another veteran big man like JaVale McGee.

Ultimately, neither of these moves materialized.

McGee ended up in one of the first moves of the day, earning himself a trade back to the Denver Nuggets, while Lowry never ended up getting traded, as the Toronto Raptors never found an offer they liked. 

The Nets didn’t have a ton of pieces to negotiate with, as the Houston Rockets own control of their draft picks for the foreseeable future, and the amount of money tied up in Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden didn’t give the Nets a ton of versatility.

The 76ers did make a move, eventually, as they managed to pilfer veteran point guard George Hill away from the rebuilding Oklahoma City Thunder. Given Philly’s activity and Brooklyn’s inactivity, where do the Nets stand right now in the East? Considering that missing out on Lowry was a killer blow for Philly, Brooklyn should feel upbeat after a quiet deadline from their point of view.

The Brooklyn Nets are still even when compared to the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Nets, thanks to their thrashing at the hands of the Utah Jazz, still have some ground to make up between them and Philadelphia. With Hill not a transformative talent on either side of the ball, it looks like Brooklyn hasn’t really lost a ton of ground in this playoff chase.

The Milwaukee Bucks sat on their hands, and the only team in the miasma of contenders beneath this elite trio to take a major step forward was the Chicago Bulls, who added Nikola Vucevic, Troy Brown Jr., and Daniel Theis. The Nets shouldn’t be too threatened by what their competition did at the deadline.

The Nets were able to add Blake Griffin as a buyout, and the likes of LaMarcus Aldridge and Andre Drummond are still available on the buyout market. There is still time to add pieces if that is what Sean Marks wants to do.

The Nets just needed to cross their fingers and hope their rivals didn’t shake the very core of the NBA at the deadline. With Boston making incremental improvements highlighted by the Evan Fournier deal, Milwaukee doing nothing, and Philly missing out on Lowry, the Nets can rest easy tonight.