Sean Marks
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19: Newly hired Brooklyn Nets General Manager Sean Marks answers questions during a press conference before the game between the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks at Barclays Center on February 19, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Brooklyn Nets Continual Pursuit of Draft Picks

Brooklyn Nets are no strangers to the trade deadline or blockbuster trades. However, this is a new era in Brooklyn with Sean Marks in charge of player movement. 

Bereft of All-Stars to trade this season Marks approaches the deadline looking to retain talent and gain draft picks unlike the past regime. Still, the Nets do have a blossoming player teams will undoubtedly be giving a hard look.

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The Brooklyn Nets are tired of being the butt of the NBA’s jokes. The Nets were like the punchline the crowd would predict before the comic gets to the climax of his/her bit. “They don’t have draft picks after giving up their future for players past their prime”. “Seeing the Nets’ draft picks in the hands of another front office is like seeing your ex-wife’s newfound boyfriend fathering your children”. Admittedly dark, but it gets the point across. It’s getting old, we get it, the Nets front office gets it. Nets’ general manager Sean Marks certainly understands the dire situation he signed up for. 

Marks made some outstanding moves with next to no leverage on his side of the table. Marks’ sharp basketball mind allowed the Nets to change the narrative of the past regime’s careless approach to future assets. Ever since the new GM’s arrival to Brooklyn, it was clear he wouldn’t make the same mistakes.

Marks leaving ‘his mark’:

Sean Marks traded for the rights to Caris LeVert , flipped Bojan Bogdanovic for a first round draft pick (which converted to Jarrett Allen), acquired two draft picks (a first and second) for taking on DeMarre Carroll’s contract. Sure seems to be working out in the Net’s favor. And, most recently, the Brooklyn Nets traded for D’Angelo Russell and Mosgov’s chunky contract. These are the moves the Nets needed to make to rebuild. Don’t be surprised if the front office makes another move for a draft pick at the deadline. 

Kenny Atkinson is known for inspiring his teams to play hard and valuing “character” locker room guys; Spencer Dinwiddie seems to fit the description. Dinwiddie is having a feel-good season, notably for a player who was an afterthought on the Detroit Pistons.  Dinwiddie’s stock is high, perhaps enough to warrant a first round pick in return. His contract is an extremely team-friendly two-year, $3,180,397 deal. The Nets striking while the iron’s hot is a sensible move.

Here are some trade proposals potentially keeping the pursuit of draft picks in motion:

Spencer Dinwiddie to Washington Wizards for 2018 lottery protected first-round pick and Mike Scott

 Where there’s smoke there’s fire. The Wizards are an interesting bunch. The Wizards seem to have internal disruption the past couple seasons. Bradley Beal said, “everybody eats” without John Wall in the lineup. The John Wall-less Wizards posted 97 assists in the first three games without Wall.  

Beal recently backtracked that statement. Even so, this isn’t the first “misunderstanding” we’ve seen from this Wizards squad.   

This by no means infers the Wizards should trade John Wall. However, preparing for the worst outcome would be the best plan to protect the organization from self-destruction. Trading for Dinwiddie also helps the Wizards under the win-now philosophy.

With Wall out for the next 6-8 weeks to recover from knee surgery, point guard depth is important. Shooting guard Tomas Satoransky is filling in for the five-time NBA All-Star in the meantime. Washington is on a four-game win streak and counting, although acquiring Dinwiddie would be insurance for the playoffs.

With the Wizards outgoing 2018 first round pick being lottery protected, the potential of having second-round sleeper Dinwiddie is quite the deal for both teams.

Mike Scott isn’t the kind of personality the Nets are looking for, but his expiring contract makes the trade easier to swallow. As far as on-court production, Mike Scott is a positive when it comes to putting points on the boards. Scott has three 20+ point games this season, impressively, with him playing less than 30 minutes in each of those contests. Scott is more than just a DNP pickup.

 Spencer Dinwiddie to Denver Nuggets for 2018 lottery protected first-round pick and Richard Jefferson

 DeMarcus Cousins season-ending injury is putting the New Orleans Pelicans playoff race in danger, consequently, bringing hope to the bottom end of the Western Conference playoff seeding. The Denver Nuggets are 28-25, good enough for a speed date with the Golden State Warriors. The Nuggets playoff drought dates to the 2012-2013 season. That was the postseason which saw the Warriors and Nuggets matchup. Perhaps a second date is in the works. The Los Angeles Clippers are two wins behind the Nuggets.  Fortunately for Denver, the Blake Griffin trade might be the lottery kiss of death.

Emmanuel Mudiay isn’t locked in as the go-to backup point guard spot in Denver. Mudiay is shooting a career-low 39 percent in field goals. His three-point percentage is up, but his attempts are down. Mudiay’s on/off numbers aren’t in his favor either. Mudiay is on a rookie scale deal, therefore his presence on the team isn’t necessarily hurting the Nuggets financially. However, Mudiay’s underwhelming play could cost the Nuggets down the stretch of the regular season.

Spencer Dinwiddie’s overall season numbers don’t inspire any fist-pumping or eye-popping reactions. Digging deeper into his game logs will give you the bigger picture. The Nets are 3-7 in their last 10 games. In the three wins, Dinwiddie averaged 21 points on 55 percent shooting. Acquiring Dinwiddie from the Nets is a realistic addition for the Nuggets. The Nuggets putting lottery protections on the pick is vital to making this trade.

Richard Jefferson, like Mike Miller last season, was signed for off-court leadership purposes. Trading for Jefferson would be another example of the emphasis on character driven traits the Nets’ front office have recently embraced. Even if Jefferson doesn’t play another game in the NBA, his career experiences would influence the young Brooklyn Nets locker room.

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