The Brooklyn Nets have a little over a week to make a trade before the Feb. 10 deadline at 3 p.m. ET. The rumors are going to continue to stir about for the next eight days but after that, will the Nets have any new faces on their roster?
Brooklyn and Paul Millsap are working to find a new team for the 36-year-old and if the Nets aren’t satisfied with those offers, Millsap will be a buyout candidate. Hopefully, Brooklyn can find a trade suitor for him though, along with a couple of the team’s other players.
How are the Nets tied to the Clippers? Well, for starters, there are two players on Los Angeles’ roster that would fit in nicely with Brooklyn.
The Clippers are without Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, although there’s a chance that the two could return either later this month or in early March. Without its star duo, Los Angeles is 26-27 and in eighth place in the West. That means that if the playoffs ended today, the Clippers would be a lock for the play-in tournament.
How can Los Angeles adjust its roster ahead of Leonard and George’s potential return? There are two players on the Clippers that the Nets should be interested in making a trade for.
The Brooklyn Nets could trade for these 2 Los Angeles Clippers players.
2: Nicolas Batum
Nic Batum was waived by Charlotte in 2020 and joined Los Angeles. He averaged 8.1 points and 4.7 rebounds in the 67 games that he played in for the Clippers last year. Batum made a big jump after averaging 3.6 points for the Hornets the season before.
He was part of the reason why Los Angeles made it to the Western Conference Finals last year and because of that, Batum signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract with the Clippers in August of 2021. There’s a player option for 2022-23 which means that he has a no-trade clause.
This season, the 33-year-old is averaging 9.2 points and 4.5 rebounds in the 32 games that he’s played in. He’s shooting 49.5% from the field and 41.9% from the 3-point line.
In Los Angeles’ most recent game against Indiana, Batum scored 13 points off the bench. Except for one free throw, the rest of his 12 points came from behind the arc.
The six-foot-eight power forward would be a solid boost off the bench that would help Brooklyn’s lack of depth at his position, especially in the playoffs.
The 14-year veteran is set to make $3.2 million this year and $3.3 million the next. That’s within means for the Nets but before a possible trade were to happen, Batum would have to be the one to give it the green light.
1: Serge Ibaka
Serge Ibaka’s name has popped up in trade rumors for Brooklyn but that’s not the only place. Kevin Durant listed Ibaka in his top-five favorite teammates of all time. What an honor.
There’s a chance that Durant can have a reunion with his former Oklahoma City teammate. Like Batum, Ibaka has been with the Clippers since last season. He’s averaging 6.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in the 33 games that he’s played in and is shooting 47.7% from the floor.
If the Nets are contemplating trading either Day’Ron Sharpe or Nic Claxton, they’ve likely been keeping tabs on Ibaka.
After all, Brooklyn did pursue the center when he was a free agent in 2020. It was thought that he’d sign with the Nets but they didn’t have enough money to offer him. KD’s recruiting efforts came up short but he now has some extra time on his hands since he’s out with a sprained MCL.
Ibaka would be able to come in and make noise right off the bat. Against the Pacers on Monday, he had 14 points (6-of-7), 11 rebounds, and two blocks as a starter.
However, Ibaka would come at a heftier price than Batum. The 13-year veteran signed a two-year, $19 million contract with Los Angeles in November of 2020. Ibaka exercised his player option for 2021-22, which means that he’s owed $9.7 million this season.
If Ibaka isn’t on a new roster come Feb. 10, Sam Quinn of CBS Sports believes that Brooklyn will be the frontrunner to sign Ibaka on the buyout market.
Is this the year that Ibaka will join the Nets? We know what Durant’s feelings on the matter are and we agree. Brooklyn could use a veteran like Ibaka who knows what it takes to win a title.