With forward Kevin Durant out for the year and Kyrie Irving playing just 20 games due to injuries, the Brooklyn Nets relied heavily on young players such as Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert, both of whom were among the key contributors to a team that had a 30-34 record at the time the NBA went on hiatus on March 11. However, these two up-and-comers might be among the players Brooklyn would consider trading if they decide to make a move for a third star, just as Irving suggested earlier this year.
As quoted by Newsday, ESPN’s Bobby Marks recently commented that Dinwiddie and LeVert might be the two players the Nets use as trade bait, despite how erstwhile starting point guard Dinwiddie is the “ultimate insurance policy” for Irving. However, given the fact that the 26-year-old will be entering an expiring contract in the 2020-21 season and will be eligible to receive an extension in December, Marks suggested that it might not be financially plausible for Brooklyn to eventually have two point guards on lucrative contracts.
“But if you are looking to upgrade the roster, somebody’s got to go,” said Marks.”You’re basically staring at Spencer and Caris…In regard to Dinwiddie, it’s probably something they would have to look at to see what his value is out there.”
As shown on the Nets’ Basketball-Reference page, Dinwiddie was second on the Nets in scoring with 20.6 points at the time the NBA suspended the current season, adding 3.5 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 41.5 percent from the field and 30.8 percent from three-point range. LeVert, who missed 25 games due to injuries, recorded 17.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game, and shot 41.4 percent from the field and 38.1 percent from beyond the arc.
“It’s an adjustment… We got to figure out a way to play better off one another when we’re out there on the perimeter. It’s a big guard front. We gotta use it to our advantage.”
– Kyrie Irving on adjusting to a 3-guard set with Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert pic.twitter.com/lMYJhN5zA6
— Anthony Puccio (@APOOCH) January 15, 2020
According to Newsday, Dinwiddie and LeVert might not be the only young Nets who could be traded for a third top-tier player to suit up alongside Durant and Irving next season. The publication noted that center Jarrett Allen is the “most obvious” sweetener to a potential trade involving Dinwiddie — assuming Brooklyn decides to retain LeVert due to his perceived upside. No specific trade targets were mentioned by Marks, but Newsday wrote that the ESPN analyst previously suggested Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon, with Atlanta Hawks big man John Collins also brought up in past rumors as a long shot.
In addition, Marks pointed out that the Nets could look for help from teams that might be willing to make major changes to their roster in one way or another. While he mentioned the Philadelphia 76ers — a team that’s currently tied for fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 39-26 record — he also stressed that things could still change, as the 2019-20 season suspension has people in a “wait-and-see mode to figure it out.”