The NBA trade deadline is coming up on Feb. 20th and the Brooklyn Nets seem unlikely to make a move with Stefan Bondy of the NY Daily News reporting that there is only a slim chance they make a move. Bondy estimates that it’s at less than 10 percent.
The Nets biggest obstacle in making a deal is their huge payroll which leaves them with little flexibility in making trades. However, they do have a little wiggle room as they were granted a $5.2 million disabled player exception when Brook Lopez was hurt.
Not that it matters a whole lot. The Nets payroll is so high, currently at $101.7 million plus another $80 million or so in luxury tax fees means that they are going to have to pay through the nose for any salary they add. Exact calculations for the luxury tax are hard to come by, but estimates are that it could cost them $5 for every $1 spent. That means if they added $5 million to payroll it could cost them upwards of $25 million in tax charges.
At this point the Nets would be better off not making a trade. Unless they got really creative it seems hard to imagine them making anything but a deal that would only make them slightly better. At this point they seem so far behind the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers that slightly better wouldn’t be enough to seriously compete with them. So any trade wouldn’t increase their prospects much and would further hurt their future that was already heavily mortgaged in the deal with the Celtics.
Now if they started dismantling that might be another story altogether. But I hardly expect Mikhail Prokhovor, who has been so obviously desperate for a championship, to rebuild at this point. Although I have heard more than a few fans bring up the idea of trading Brook Lopez and/or Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. It’s not going to happen though. Not now anyway.