Brooklyn Nets: Josh Smith No, Ben Gordon Yes


The Brooklyn Nets are currently the fifth seed in the East and capped out for the foreseeable future, because of over 300 million dollars committed in the off-season. This involved adding or keeping, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace and other minor players. However, word is that they are going hard after Atlanta Hawks’ star forward, Josh Smith. Smith is a free agent at season’s end and will ask for a maximum contract that the Nets cannot afford to give, unless they clear extra cap space, which will be quite hard.

Despite Deron Williams’ relatively poor season, compared to his standards, it would be difficult to see the Nets parting with the player considered to be their franchise player and who would be impossible to get an even close to equal return for, so he will not be traded. Brook Lopez is the best center in the Eastern Conference, so he too should be off the table. That leaves Humphries , Johnson and Wallace, however nobody is trading for Johnson’s 90 million dollar contract, or Wallace’s 40 million  dollar contract, so it is improbable that they can retain Smith long-term, even if the Hawks accept their offer. They simply cannot shed enough long-term money to sign Smith. For now the package for Smith seems to be built around Humphries, who is in the first year of a 2 year, 24 million dollar deal, the very talented MarShon Brooks and a first round pick. It is doubtful that the Hawks would even entertain that offer, as other teams can prepare better offers, with better young players, better draft picks  and less long-term money. It seems that however much they want Smith, they simply do not have the money to sign him or the appropriate pieces to make a trade.

Ben Gordon on the other hand. is a perfect fit on this roster and they have the pieces to make the deal work. Gordon has almost an identical contract to Kris Humphries and they could trade for him straight up. The Charlotte Bobcats need someone who can rebound and score down low and Humphries is above average in both regards and they even tried to sign him last summer. The Nets lack a pure scorer off the bench, which is Gordon’s forte and he would add much-needed long distance shooting and second unit scoring, improving their already solid bench.  With the crowded backcourt in Charlotte and with the Bobcats going nowhere fast, Gordon would not be missed. This is a solid trade for both teams, filling needs while getting rid of unneeded pieces, so by all means, the Nets should make this deal.

Basically the Nets have two players they are looking at, Smith, who is nearly impossible to trade for and keep long-term and Ben Gordon, who is the perfect player for their roster and can easily be traded for.  This makes the equation quite simple, trade Kris Humphries for Ben Gordon, receive a needed scorer off of the bench and quit the pipe dream of adding Josh Smith, unless they can shed millions upon millions of dollars, which is not happening.




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