The Brooklyn Nets reportedly rejected a trade that would have given them Houston Rockets centre' Omer Asik and point guard Jeremy Lin in exchange for Deron Williams.
However, with All-Star center Brook Lopez suffering a season-ending foot injury, the Nets might re-enter another trade negotiation with the Rockets in the near future.
In desperate need to fortify their frontline, the Nets are reportedly in search for a big man that would fill up the loophole left void by Lopez, who was declared out of the season with a broken foot.
Lopez has been racking up All-Star numbers again this season, averaging 20 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 31 minutes per game. Without him, the Nets are expected to rely harder on journeyman forward Andre Blatche and ageing Kevin Garnett, who is just producing 6.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
Williams has been splendid upon his return from a sprained left knee. The All-Star point guard is putting up 12.7 points and 7.6 assists per outing for the Nets, but his solid play as of late was not enough to get his team over the hump. The Nets have dropped four of their last five games and plunged deeper at the bottom of Eastern Conference standings at 9-18.
Last week, ESPN NBA insider Ohm Youngmisuk reported a foiled trade between the Nets and the Rockets. According to the source, the Rockets proposed to send Asik and Lin to the Nets for the chance at landing a proven point guard in Williams.
As expected, the Nets backed off from the trade talks as they insisted the point guard is untouchable from trade negotiations primarily because he's the reason why Garnett and Peirce agreed to be traded to the Nets.
"According to a league source, the Rockets had preliminary talks with the Nets last week about Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin. Talks never gained any steam, but the source said the Rockets were doing their due diligence and Williams' name came up," Youngmisuk stated.
"The Nets balked because one of the main reasons Pierce and Garnett agreed to a trade to Brooklyn was to play with Williams, according to the source. Williams, who signed a five-year, $98 million extension in 2012, was playing well upon returning from an ankle injury, and the Nets were looking better," the insider added.
Reviving the Trade
The Nets were right not to trade Williams at the point, knowing they still have a chance at making a run for a playoff spot. However, with Lopez now out of the lineup, the Nets might need to push the reset button now.
Williams, who is entitled to pocket $61 million over the next three seasons, remains a pretty good point guard at this point of his career, though not at an elite level anymore.
Trading Williams for Lin and Asik might not be a bad move at all, considering that it would give the Nets some tax relief and flexibility to sign free-agents next summer. Moreover, Lin and Asik are a solid pickup to rebuild a franchise.
Lin already proved he can handle the spotlight of playing for a big market team during his successful tenure with the NY Knicks while Asik will strengthen the Nets' defense.
Moreover, the possibility of Asik-Lopez tandem next season appears very intriguing. Asik will give the Nets' a legit defensive presence as the man in the middle while Lopez could be a pretty solid power forward in this league because of his mid-range jumper and quickness despite his size. If this experiment doesn't work, the Nets can easily repackage a surefire asset in Asik for another solid acquisition.
The Rockets, on the other hand, will finally have a point guard to orchestrate their offense alongside James Harden and Dwight Howard. This trade is not crazy at all. As a matter of fact, it's a win-win deal for both teams.
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