Nets rumor roundup: Trade chatter surrounding Brooklyn as NBA’s trade deadline approaches

January was a difficult month for the Nets, although the return of Ben Simmons and a 33-point defeat of the Utah Jazz on Monday night, does offer hope as the calendar turns. The team is bound to undergo some personnel changes in February, though. The NBA’s trade deadline is just eight days away and the streets seem to believe that Brooklyn could be at the center of a handful of notable moves.

According to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Houston Rockets recently expressed interest in trading for Nets forward Mikal Bridges and were prepared to send back several of Brooklyn’s unused remaining draft picks from last season’s James Harden trade. If general manager Sean Marks were leaning toward a complete rebuild then collecting as many draft assets as possible for premier talent would be the way to go.

However, Scotto reported that Nets were quick to reject Houston’s offer, which aligns with Adrian Wojnarowski’s reporting from earlier in the month. Wojnarowski believes that Brooklyn’s intent is to retain Bridges and build talent around him. The 27-year-old is under contract with the Nets for the next two years. He will be an unrestricted free agent in 2026.

Scotto and ESPN’s Bobby Marks also reported that all signs are pointing toward Nic Claxton remaining in Brooklyn past the trade deadline and, in all likelihood, will re-sign him to a long-term deal this summer. Claxton, 24, has already expressed his desire to continue his NBA career with the Nets. He is expected to command around $21 million a year when he eventually lands a new deal.

It appears Spencer Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neale and Dorian Finney-Smith are the top candidates to be moved elsewhere before Feb. 8. Like Claxton, those three will also be unrestricted free agents this summer. Dinwiddie and Finney-Smith were acquired by the Nets in last season’s Kyrie Irving deal. O’Neale was traded to Brooklyn last June in exchange for a 2023 first-round draft pick.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania says the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in trading for Dinwiddie, O’Neale and Finney-Smith. There are league executives who believe Finney-Smith could be worth a first-round pick, while O’Neale could cost multiple second-round picks for a contending team.

The allure of Dinwiddie is his $20.3 million expiring deal. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst thinks that if the Nets do make a deal ahead of the deadline, it would likely be for a guard like D’Angelo Russell of the Lakers — who was named an All-Star with Brooklyn in 2019.

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