The Brooklyn Nets have their own “Trust the Process” going on now. It started with the release of Deron Williams and the buyout of Joe Jonson but it wasn’t made official until the Nets traded away Brook Lopez for D’Angleo Russell this month. With the Nets looking to hit the reset button with a younger roster, they may look to add a post player to go with Russell. The Philadelphia 76ers just may have the piece they’re looking for in Jahlil Okafor.
With Lopez gone, the Nets will look to newly acquired Timofey Mozgov to anchor the post. While he’s being paid like an All-Star, he’s far from that. During his season with the Lakers in 2016, Mozgov averaged a paltry 7 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes of action. To be fair, Mozgov was a throw-in for the Lopez trade just to make the money work.
So what will the Nets do? Will they ride the Mozgov train or look to make a move?
With a possibility of losing another pick to the Boston Celtics in the 2018 NBA Draft, the Nets cannot afford to lose focus of the bigger picture. There is no promise of a rebuild– it’s already here. The Philadelphia 76ers have gone through this process and in doing so they may have collected too many drafts picks and players over the years. While Okafor and Nerlens Noel was set to be the new cornerstones of the franchise, they were replaced by Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Dario Saric.
Noel was shipped to the Dallas Mavericks last season which forced Okafor to step to the head of the line as the next one to be moved. However, with Embiid not fully 100 percent, the 76ers were hesitant to make a deal. But that all may change if a team comes to them with the right offer.
The Nets would love to pair Russell with a player like Okafor. They both are young and athletic and love to run the floor. Lopez and Russell would have clashed whereas, Okafor and Russell can become the cornerstones to a Nets teams that have quietly put together a nice young nucleus. If the Nets could offer a package that includes Isaiah Whitehead and Sean Kilpatrick then the 76ers may be willing to part with Okafor.
For the Nets it’s a must do deal as Okafor is still playing on a rookie contract. Losing young pieces like Kilpatrick and Whitehead will be tough but the addition of a post player who has All-Star potential may be too great to pass up.