Remember just a few weeks ago when Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said more moves were coming?
While fans might’ve been expecting a more flashy move — a midseason trade is still possible — Marks stuck true to his word.
You know how the Nets were actively trying to free themselves of DeAndre Jordan’s contract? Most fans thought a buyout was the most likely end game, but Marks actually found a trade partner for the veteran center.
On Friday, the Nets traded Jordan, four future second-round picks and $5.78 million in cash to the Pistons for Sekou Doumbouya and Jahil Okafor.
It remains to be seen what Brooklyn’s plans are for Doumbouya and Okafor, but it goes without saying the former offers more upside, so don’t be surprised if he’s kept and the Nets waive Okafor in the near future.
Assuming Doumbouya, the No. 15 overall pick in 2019, is able to fight for a roster spot at training camp, could he push DeAndre’ Bembry off the roster?
Will Sekou Doumbouya push DeAndre’ Bembry off the Nets’ roster?
We get the feeling that Doumbouya and Bembry will be competing head-to-head for one of the last roster spots. Given that they’re extremely similar players — both are capable defenders and willing slashers who struggle to stretch the floor — Doumbouya might have the edge over Bembry because of his height.
Think about it like this. At 6-foot-5, Bembry is currently stashed behind James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, Patty Mills, and Cam Thomas in the backcourt pecking order. Could he get some run at the three?
That’s tough to predict, especially when you consider Kevin Durant will play there when the Nets aren’t running a small-ball lineup. It’s also worth noting that Bembry is seven (!) years older than Doumbouya, who will turn 21 in December.
At 27 years old, Bembry is in his prime, so you kind of know what you’re getting from him (6.1 points and 3.3 rebounds on 45.9% shooting). While Doumbouya has taken longer than expected to develop in Detroit, his upside is significant for a player of his age and size (6-foot-8, 230 pounds).
Speaking of his time in Detroit, the Pistons have been a dumpster fire for several years now. Maybe it’s hopeless optimism, but we like to think Doumbouya’s development will take off surrounded by high-end talent with the Nets.
Given that the Nets have depleted themselves of draft picks, it just feels like Doumbouya is the smarter gamble than Bembry, even if it means that Doumbouya is ultimately demoted to the G League if he isn’t getting minutes.
The Nets don’t have to make a decision on this until after training camp, but it’s definitely something to chew on until then.