Brooklyn Nets: 3 conference rivals BK should target in free agency

Nerlens Noel. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Nerlens Noel. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Dewayne Dedmon
Dewayne Dedmon. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

Ah, the old poach-a-player-from-your-rival-team-to-make-them-worse trick. Brooklyn has a lot of trade options going into the offseason, and while they already moved many of their pawn pieces, Spencer Dinwiddie remains one of their more valuable chips in the game, potentially leaving the borough in a sign-and-trade this offseason. If last season taught them anything, it’s that they could use a better supporting cast.

In Game 7 against the Bucks, only five players made a mark on the score sheet. Five. Granted, it was the most crucial game of postseason and Brooklyn had to play its strongest lineup or else risk the wrath of angry Nets fans everywhere. But their “strongest” lineup consisted of a still-hobbling James Harden and a misfiring Joe Harris, putting way too much pressure on Kevin Durant. The man’s good, but…come on.

With a tantalizing amount of talent this free agency, who could Brooklyn pick up? Some options are just plain impossible, the dreamy stuff of basketball superteam folklore…oh wait. The question might be better phrased, who could Brooklyn afford?

Brooklyn’s Big Three are pretty much locked and loaded, so it’s up to the Nets’ front office to assemble the rest of the troops. Next season, you can bet there are more players who’d rather play with than against the hopefully healthy trifecta of KD, Kyrie, and Harden, and what’s that old saying again? If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Sounds perfectly logical and not unfair to the rest of the league at all.

Here are three free agents that could want to chase a ring in the Big Apple.

3. Dewayne Dedmon

Dewayne Dedmon is arguably the cheapest option on this list, but there’s no shame in that. Things just haven’t really worked out for the center since he signed with the Sacramento Kings at the start of the 2019-20 season. Here’s where the Nets could get the most bang for their buck.

In 16 games played for the Miami Heat, Dedmon averaged 7.1 points, 4.1 assists, and 5.4 rebounds, shooting a career-high 70.8 percent from the field. He’s a skilled rim protector that would serve the Nets well in the paint, and he’s one of those guys who were built to play in the background. He can pick up rebounds, score a few buckets, and make an immediate impact on a small Nets team without having to do too much.

Another caveat: Dedmon posted a surprisingly smashing 35 percent from three in his 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons. If Nets coaches can wean him back onto those levels of shooting, well, Joe Harris might have just found a lethal partner in crime.

And with DeAndre Jordan’s current purgatory-like tenure with Brooklyn? Dedmon is a must-sign piece who would go a long way towards patching up some of the Nets’ defensive holes. It’s glaringly obvious that Jordan doesn’t fit into the Nets’ game plan, which relies so much on pick-and-rolls. Jordan’s big man presence can’t defend small guards and perimeter playmakers the way Steve Nash expects him to, and he’s really not an offensive threat either.

Even if Jordan starts to mesh better next season, Dedmon can still share minutes with him on the floor. God knows the Nets need more depth in the interior. How many times do they have to read, “Kevin Durant can’t do it all” on newspaper headlines for them to finally take the hint?