With the NBA trade deadline just eight days away, do the Brooklyn Nets still have moves in the works, or will they wait for the buyout market?

The first thing to keep in mind is that the Nets don’t have many gaps on their roster, and if General Manger Sean Marks makes a deal, it would need to impact the top 10 guys.

As of right now, the starting five of a healthy Nets team is most likely going to be James Harden, Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris, Kevin Durant, and DeAndre Jordan. Then with Landry Shamet, Bruce Brown, Jeff Green, Blake Griffin, and Nicolas Claxton as the first five guys off the bench.

This roster is stacked with talent at every position, and there is not much that you can improve on, except for adding defensive players.

The second thing to think about is what the Nets can offer in a trade.

Spencer Dinwiddie is still under contract but is sitting for the rest of the season with an injury. Dinwiddie does have a player option next season, so if he were to be traded, the team would need to know that he would pick up that option. The Nets can also use Shamet, or even Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot to get some value in with a trade. If they trade Shamet, they will probably need to trade him for a replacement.  The Nets also have a few second-round draft picks that can be used as more trade value.

Photo: Adam Hunger/AP

Now what Marks should be looking for in the trade market is defensive players, most importantly bigs, but any defensive player at this point would do. Jordan’s defensive rating is the highest it has ever been at 110, and Claxton is still young and hasn’t played enough NBA minutes to be trusted as the defensive anchor, even though he shows promise.

The primary trade rumors have been around the Houston Rockets P.J. Tucker and the Cleveland Cavilers bigs, JaVale McGee and Andre Drummond. However, since Griffin’s signing, I don’t know how much of an interest the Nets still have in these players, probably not wanting to take playing time from Claxton. Tucker is the player who would not influence Claxon’s minutes as Tucker is a great spot-up shooter, along with defending a wide range of positions. The Rockets seem to be asking for a high price on Tucker, which appears to have made the Nets reconsider.

Trevor Ariza was someone who definitely stood out as a trade target, and maybe the Nets should have traded for. As the prototypical Three and D player, he would have fit right into the bench, possibly taking away all of Brown’s minutes. However, Ariza has already been traded to the Miami Heat for Myles Leonard and a future second-round draft pick. Not many other players fit this kind of mold that the Nets could feasibly try to acquire, so this trade must sting. Now, if the Nets want to make a big push for someone like Harrison Barnes or James Ennis, a package of Dinwiddie, maybe Shamet or Luwawu-Cabarrot, and perhaps a few second-round draft picks could get the job done.

The fact is that because of the expanded playoffs, and the Nets might not be in luck as fewer teams are sellers coming into the final week before the trade deadline. On top of that, there will be more buyers with teams looking to make a push to make it into the playoffs.

The Nets still need to upgrade their defensive big position, likely playing bigs like Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bam Adebayo, and Anthony Davis if they make it to the Finals and play the Los Angeles Lakers. At the wings, it seems that head Coach Steve Nash has lost faith in Luwawu-Cabarrot and Brown as their minutes drop, and this is before Durant and Griffin get healthy again.

With minimal options at the trade dealing, the Nets might not make a move and might look more to the buyout market to upgrade the team.

Featured Image: Adam Hunger/AP
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