The 2022 NBA trade deadline is just 10 days. The Brooklyn Nets rolled out a few major names in the commercial market but other than that, there was no solid indication of what the organization would do by 3 p.m. ET on February 10.
What we do know is that Portland is a team that the Brooklyn front office needs to monitor over the next week and a half.
Damian Lillard made just 29 appearances for the Trail Blazers before undergoing abdominal surgery on January 13, earning a six-week comeback schedule. Lillard has been with the team since he was drafted in 2012-13 and is said to want to sign an extension with Portland during the holiday period.
The Trail Blazers won their most recent championship in 1977, and while former General Manager Neil Olshey wasn’t ready to break up Lillard and CJ McCollum, interim General Manager Joe Cronin could have decided to do so.
With this said, there is a possibility that there are a few guys out there who might be spending their last days in Portland.
If the Trail Blazers are listening for shows, should the Nets move for Nurkic or Robert Covington?
The Brooklyn Nets can trade these Portlanders Trail Blazers.
2: Joseph Nurkic
Nurkic’s career began in 2014-15 in Denver. He spent two and a half years with the Nuggets before being traded to Portland in the middle of the 2016-17 season.
The quarterback found a foothold with the Trail Blazers and grew to become one of the top Post players in the league. He’s played in 47 games for Portland this year and averaged 14.6 points, a career high of 10.7 rebounds per game and fired 54.4% from the field, his career best.
The 27-year-old signed a four-year, $48 million contract in July of 2018. The contract included a partial warranty for 2021-22 and because he was still on the roster after August 3 last year, he was fully guaranteed $12. million this season.
To get to Nurkic, Brooklyn must be willing to part with a group of players, which could be Nick Claxton, Daeron Sharp, Bruce Brown, Paul Millsap or Jevon Carter. The probability of trading the last three players is high, although Brown will have the ability to veto any deal he is involved in until he becomes a free agent over the summer.
Regardless, Nurkic would be a huge networking deal. It will help mitigate the team’s rebound issues and will be a reliable presence down the road. Brooklyn also struggles to finish off the edge and from shots that Nurkic took less than five feet from the edge, he made 71.1% of them.
Is there a possibility that Nurkic will be the biggest nets man in the future?
1: Robert Covington
Robert Covington is a player that Nets fans have been keeping an eye on. He’s been with the Trail Blazers since 2020-21 and in 46 games he’s played this year, he’s averaged 7.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks.
The forward signed a four-year, $62 million extension with the Sixers prior to the 2017-18 season, but has since played for the Timberwolves, Rockets, and is now in Portland. Covington owes $12.9 million this year and will become an unrestricted free agent during the holiday season.
Like Norkic’s situation, Brooklyn will have to be willing to weed out a number of players to make a deal. However, Covington would be a valuable addition to the Nets as he is one of the best defenders in the NBA.
He logged 255 total deflections in the league last year with the Trail Blazers. Brooklyn needs a troublesome defender, especially in the playoffs (and if Brown is traded). Rookie Kesler Edwards has proven to be a solid defender for the Nets but the team can benefit from veteran Covington’s experience and ability to strike open shots.
Also, if Covington is traded to Brooklyn, that means he will be reunited with his former Houston teammate James Harden. The two played together on two separate occasions with the Rockets (2013-2014, 2019-20).
The Nets still have time to turn things around and improve their playoff roster and adding Nurkic or Covington will do just that.