The Brooklyn Nets have had their fair share of involvement in the NBA Trade Rumors of late, with talks of a third star doing the rounds. A number of slightly over-the-top trades have been rumored, including one that brings Bradley Beal to the Brooklyn Nets.
That, to say the least, is a little too unlikely to be discussed with any seriousness whatsoever. And it is also extremely disrespectful to the Washington Wizards, who have shown the clear intent of wanting to compete once John Wall returns to the fray.
Moreover, there is a belief in and around the franchise that they could already have their third star in Caris LeVert. LeVert has shown flashes of brilliance in his four-year-long NBA career.
More importantly, he has become a better scorer with every passing season and ended 2019-20 with nearly 19 points per game to his name. He was also fantastic as a playmaker in the bubble.
So as things stand, the Brooklyn Nets should focus on upgrading their weakest link in the starting five.
NBA Trade Rumors: Brooklyn Nets with Aaron Gordon may have the best starting 5 in the East
Assuming no changes are made to their roster, the Brooklyn Nets will likely line up with a starting five of Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert, Kevin Durant, Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen. Most NBA fans would agree that if at all there is a weak link among those tremendously strong Brooklyn Nets starters, it is Taurean Prince at power forward.
Prince was the 12th pick in the 2016 draft, and showed great promise early in his NBA career. He was a part of a very decent Atlanta Hawks squad that made it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals in his rookie season, and the first round in his sophomore year.
However, since then, Prince has regressed as a scorer. In the 2019-20 season, he shot less than 34% from 3. His overall field goal percentage was a poor 37.6%, which shows he didn't convert his other shots at a good rate either. Clearly, there is room for improvement.
Aaron Gordon's stats
Career points per game - 12.8
Career assists per game - 2.4
Career rebounds per game - 6.4
Career field goal % - 44.8%
Career 3pt % - 31.9%
Orlando Magic power forward Aaron Gordon is similar to Taurean Prince in the sense that his growth has stalled of late too. That being said, Gordon had a much higher ceiling to begin with. The fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft had a down year too, where he shot even worse than Prince from 3-point territory, a below-par 30%.
However, Gordon's offensive skill-set is much more enhanced. He could be the 'slasher' the Brooklyn Nets don't have right now. He makes almost half of the field goals he attempts from inside the arc, and is basically unstoppable when he decides to go to the rim to throw it down.
A couple of seasons back, Gordon averaged nearly 18 points per game. He won't be matching that kind of production given the kind of scoring talent the Brooklyn Nets have, but if he can even hit 35% of his shots from outside, he will give the team a dynamism that Taurean Prince is just not capable of.
NBA Trade Rumors: What would the Brooklyn Nets need to give up to get Aaron Gordon?
The Orlando Magic have a lot of options at the forward and center positions, including Nikola Vucevic, Mo Bamba, Khem Birch, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Jonathan Isaac. Hence, they won't feel too bad about letting Aaron Gordon leave if they get a competent scoring guard in return. Spencer Dinwiddie is just that.
Spencer Dinwiddie just had his best scoring season while coming off the bench for the Brooklyn Nets. He averaged over 20 points per game and provided nearly 7 assists too. However, he shot poorly from the field and especially from 3.
Dinwiddie still provides much greater value than his $11 million salary commands, and will certainly opt out of his $12 million player-option for the 2021-22 season and test the free agency market instead.
The Brooklyn Nets would hate to lose a player of his caliber for nothing, and it'd be best if they cash in on him now to acquire Aaron Gordon. Gordon still has two years remaining on his contract and will be a much safer asset for the Brooklyn Nets to have on their books. Salary fillers from the Nets' side would complete the rest of the trade.
The Brooklyn Nets would get themselves an upgrade at the power forward spot while also making use of an expiring contract. On the other hand, the Orlando Magic get a great scoring guard who they will be able to re-sign in the next off-season.
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Published 10 Sep 2020, 07:00 IST