While there's still no telling what the Brooklyn Nets may wind up doing at this year's trade deadline, it should go without saying that they'll be a team rival clubs will look to call in an effort to poach talents from.
Despite what their lackluster 20-30 record may suggest, Jacque Vaughn's squad is one chock full of quality players and, in a recent piece, Bleacher Report writer Zach Buckley made the bold prediction that two of their key contributors in Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O'Neale will be sent outbound before Thursday's cut-off.
Nets predicted to trade Dorian Finney-Smith, Royce O'Neale at deadline
"Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O'Neale are both on the wrong side of 30, and the Nets clearly aren't in position to contend with them now or in the foreseeable future. They simply offer more to this franchise as trade chips than they do as on-court contributors, because they're best when helping teams win bigger than Brooklyn is able.- Zach Buckley
Finney-Smith might be worth at least a first-round pick in this market, and if O'Neale isn't—he's a partial-season rental on an expiring contract—he might at least bring back multiple seconds. The Nets need those picks more than they need these veterans."
Both O'Neale and Finney Smith have been names regularly mentioned in the trade rumor mill for months now, with the latter reported to have an attached asking price of multiple first-round picks.
Of course, as Buckley correctly pointed out, these two veterans are almost certainly more valuable to the Nets as assets rather than on-court contributors, which, in turn, could lead to GM Sean Marks lessening his asking price for the sake of simply getting a deal done and moving on.
O'Neale is a seven-year veteran who boats a smooth long-range jumper and puts forth highly underrated efforts on the less glamorous side of the ball. Currently, he finds himself averaging 7.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game while shooting 36.6 percent from deep.
As for Finney-Smith, measuring in at 6-foot-7, 220 pounds while possessing impressive defensive intangibles, the 30-year-old is an eight-year, multi-positional veteran who is amid one of the best seasons of his career, sporting averages of 9.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while shooting 38.3 percent from distance.
In a nutshell, both are established 3-and-D, rotationally interchangeable players who could be of great use for any number of contending teams across the association.
Though it's unclear who might be leading the charge in a chase for either one of these talents, Buckley is convinced that both will be heading out before the February 8 deadline.