In what could’ve been a disaster, the Brooklyn Nets prevailed. With seven players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Brooklyn was left with an eight-man lineup on Tuesday night against the Toronto Raptors. Four of those players were rookies, but that didn’t matter.
Kessler Edwards, the No. 44 pick in the second round of the 2021 draft, had 17 points and 10 rebounds. David Duke Jr., who went undrafted, finished with 13 rebounds and 10 points. Day’Ron Sharpe, the No. 29 pick, had seven points and seven rebounds in just 13 minutes.
The No. 27 pick, Cam Thomas, didn’t have this best game, bringing up the rear with four points and three rebounds, but he’s already made his presence known.
The timing couldn’t have been better for the Nets in the 131-129 overtime win against the Raptors. The young players stepped up whenever Brooklyn needed them the most. The importance of their role in securing a win shouldn’t be understated, but their talents could benefit the Nets with the trade deadline quickly approaching on Feb. 10.
The Brooklyn Nets could use their four rookies to their advantage in trade rumors.
No, we’re not saying that Brooklyn should immediately look into trading the team’s four rookies. But we caught wind of the Nets being active on the trade market at the moment, so Tuesday night’s outing could play to their advantage.
On Tuesday morning, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report released a piece detailing trade rumors around the league, and in a big surprise, Joe Harris’ name popped up. According to Fischer, Brooklyn has been willing to discuss Harris.
The Pacers have made it known that they’re open to trading Caris LeVert, Myles Turner, and Domantas Sabonis, so could the Nets throw one or two of their younger players into discussions regarding one of those three studs? They don’t have future assets to dangle as an attraction, but what about promising first-year players? Isn’t a somewhat proven commodity better than an unknown one?
Brooklyn will get to continue to showcase its young talent since the NBA requires players who enter the protocol either remain there for 10 days or test negative twice within 24 hours. That means the rookies will receive a lot of playing time in the immediate future unless there are significant changes.
In the end, general manager Sean Marks deserves credit for bringing these four rookies aboard, along with Nic Claxton, who was drafted in the second round back in 2020. If the phone rings with the right opportunity, the Nets may be saying goodbye to one or more of their younger players.
All we’re saying? Keep an eye on these names in the immediate future. Whether they carve out a role for themselves or boost their trade value, it’s a win-win for the Nets and could help this team capture a championship when all is said and done.