Despite such a dramatic start to the season, the Brooklyn Nets have managed to stay afloat. Following a 1-5 start in October, the Nets have won eight of their first thirteen games in November. They currently have a 9-10 record, which ties them for tenth place in the Eastern Conference with the Chicago Bulls. Looking ahead, the Nets will undoubtedly want to improve their depth and chances of truly contending. To do so, they may have to consider making a deal. Here we will look at the most realistic trade target for the Nets after the first month of the 2022-23 season.
The Nets are on a bit of a mini-win streak this past week. They’ve won three of their last four games, with all three wins coming against some marquee opponents (Blazers, Grizzlies, Raptors). before that, however, they took an L against the Sacramento Kings, allowing a staggering 153 points in that contest. That’s just an insane figure even by modern basketball standards.
Having said that, this Brooklyn team certainly looks much better now under newly installed head coach Jacque Vaughn. In fact, they are now 7-5 under him as of this writing. Interestingly enough, the majority of those games have been played without star point guard Kyrie Irving. Since his return, though, the Nets look okay, going 2-1 so far. Despite that, it is evident that they need to upgrade one key position on the roster. That spot is center, where the Nets currently have a gaping hole.
Right now, Vaughn is subsisting on starting Nic Claxton as their center, with Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant also playing spot minutes along with sophomore Day’Ron Sharpe. It has yielded mixed results.
Sharpe, in particular, doesn’t look ready to handle the workload they anticipated for when they went into the season with only him and Claxton as the key bigs on the team. Sharpe played 22 minutes against the New Orleans Pelicans on opening night, shooting 1-for-8 from the floor, and hasn’t played more than 14 minutes since. Meanwhile, Claxton’s good play and the Nets’ experiment with Simmons as a center are also factors. Keep in mind, however, that the Nets are 28th in the NBA in terms of rebounds per game. Right now, Nets GM Sean Marks is still non-committal in terms of upgrading this weakness via a trade, but the need for getting outside help is crystal clear.