#8 Trading For Jared Dudley And A 2nd-Round Pick
It’s hard to complain too much about this move considering the fact that the Nets dealt Darrell Arthur, who had only been on the roster for a week—more on that later. Jared Dudley is an 11-year NBA veteran. He’s seen it all and more importantly, he’s played the role of mentor on a young Phoenix Suns team.
He will play that same role in Brooklyn, but that won’t be his only job on the Nets. Dudley was forced to take a backseat role on the Suns last season to make way for the youth movement. The Nets have a youth movement of their own, but they also needed a stretch four to knock down threes. Dudley can fill that role. How often he’ll fill that role is still a mystery, but nonetheless, he’ll give a boost to the current Nets roster.
And while Dudley is the centerpiece of the deal, the second-round pick is nothing to scoff at. Teams are growing increasingly protective of first-round picks, due in large part to the Nets disastrous trade with the Boston Celtics. Of course, second rounders don’t hold the same weight as a first rounder, but it’s an asset all the same.
If the Phoenix Suns can manage to escape the depths of the NBA standings—it’s a top-35 protected pick in 2021—then this trade will bring back an additional asset for Sean Marks to utilize as he sees best.
#7 Signing Shabazz Napier
Shabazz Napier joins a cadre of former Trail Blazers in Brooklyn. He had the best year of career in Portland last season. The combo guard has yet to live up to the hype (mostly due to a LeBron James pre-draft endorsement) he came into the league with.
But he has value coming off the bench for a competitive team. In fact, he was a solid rotational player for the three-seeded Trail Blazers last season. He’s another low-risk move as he’s on a very cheap deal with a club option in year two. There’s no huge investment from Brooklyn here.
And the former first-round pick could prove to be more valuable than ever before. Napier had his best year from beyond the arc during the 2017-18 season and perhaps Atkinson has a plan to utilize his shooting in the Nets’ three-point friendly offensive scheme.
But much like Graham, where does Napier fit in the logjam of guards? D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, and Allen Crabbe are all likely ahead of Napier on the depth chart. Depending on how the rotations shake out, there may not be a whole lot of playing time left for Napier.
But then again there is little risk involved with this signing—if any at all. Napier edges out Graham here because the Connecticut product is the more proven commodity at this stage of their careers. Again, it’s unfair to call either of these signings bad moves, but it’s fair to question how much impact they will have on the team during the 2018-19 season and beyond.
Where you rank this move ultimately depends on where you rank Napier among the current roster.