Nets general manager Sean Marks will address the specifics of Thursday’s trades when he speaks to the media at a later date. Head coach Jacque Vaughn did not have much to say on the subject ahead of the team’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center but did bid Spencer Dinwiddie farewell.
The 30-year-old was traded to the Toronto Raptors earlier in the afternoon in exchange for Dennis Schröder and Thaddeus Young. Dinwiddie and Young were later released and will test the buyout market. Schröder will join the Nets in the coming days.
“I want everyone to have success in this league,” Vaughn said. “I appreciate Spencer for being a part of our group and want nothing but success for him moving forward.”
Schröder has one year left on his current deal worth $13 million. He averaged 13.7 points and 6.1 assists across 51 games for Toronto this season. Vaughn shared his thoughts on what he thinks the 30-year-old will bring to the Nets’ backcourt.
“I’ll look at it from a coaching perspective and what Dennis brings, I can give you that: A guy that is going to compete on a nightly basis, has the ability to get to the paint, thinks like a point guard where it’s sharing the basketball, getting the group set, getting downhill,” Vaughn said. “But a guy who’s won on a high level, whether that’s with his national team, and had commanded respect from that team and that coaching staff. So a guy that I look forward to coaching because of the competitive nature that he’ll bring to our locker room.”
Lonnie Walker IV, who missed his second straight game on Thursday because of left hamstring tightness, will likely return to the court on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs. Meanwhile, Cam Johnson, who also missed his second straight game on Thursday, has already been ruled out for Saturday.
“That’s about as updated as I can give you,” Vaughn said. “We’ll see what Cam Johnson looks like next week, but Lonnie has the ability to possibly play on Saturday.”
Vaughn added that Day’Ron Sharpe, who has not played since Jan. 7 because of a hyperextended left knee, has yet to advance to contact work. He likely will not return to action until after the All-Star break.
No updates were provided for Dorian-Finney Smith, who missed his sixth straight game on Thursday.
Perhaps the NBA should consider not playing games on trade deadline day at some point in the future, because already injured teams like the Nets who decide to shake up the roster become even more short-handed.
Brooklyn had just nine active players against Cleveland: Mikal Bridges, Cam Thomas, Ben Simmons, Nic Claxton, Dennis Smith Jr., Trendon Watford, Jalen Wilson, Noah Clowney and Keon Johnson.
Wilson, a rookie forward out of Kansas, received his first NBA start in light of the Nets’ absences. Simmons started consecutive games for the first time since November. Bridges, Thomas and Claxton rounded out the first five on Thursday.