The Brooklyn Nets are in NBA limbo. The team is not good enough to contend for a playoff spot, but not bad enough to build through the draft.
The only way the Nets can improve its roster is through the trade market. One trade scenario has the Nets gunning for Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor.
NBA observer Brandon Jefferson pointed out that Okafor is the type of player the Nets would acquire in a heartbeat. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov prioritizes immediate gratification over slow rebuild.
A few years back, the Nets acquired superstars Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. All four players are no longer in the lineup, but their massive paychecks continue to haunt the Nets to this day.
Trading for Okafor would pose a similar risk. On the bright side, he is young and oozing with potential. On the downside, his bust rate is as high as his success rate. With that said, Okafor would still be a significant improvement over Nets big men Justin Hamilton, Henry Sims and Anthony Bennett.
The Nets can offer the 76ers a trade package involving Bojan Bogdanovic, Caris LaVert, Chris McCullough and Sean Kilpatrick. The only prominent name out of the bunch is Bogdanovic. The rest are mere trade fillers.
The 76ers might have use for Bogdanovic. The Croatian star is a high-percentage shooter who can help space the floor for prized rookie Ben Simmons.
Last season, Bogdanovic averaged 11.2 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.3 assists in just 26.8 minutes of play. He shot 43.3 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from beyond the arc, Basketball Reference reported.
In Brooklyn, Okafor would be Jeremy Lin’s new pick-and-roll partner. Playing alongside a veteran playmaker will do wonders for his young career.
Lin could also teach Okafor a thing or two about defense. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson believes Lin is an elite defender, but for some reason that aspect of his game is often overlooked.
“He can be a darn good defender with his athleticism, his competitiveness,” said Atkinson, via Nets Daily. “He feels a little slighted that he’s not considered a better defender.”