Nets are getting rid of Spencer Dinwiddie and Royce O’Neal before the NBA trade deadline
Thursday’s trade deadline was disappointing for the Nets but not unexpected.
They tried to balance competitiveness with flexibility, hoping not to falter in doing so.
The Nets found a taker for the unhappy Spencer Dinwiddie, sending him to Toronto for Dennis Schröder.
And they continued to fall short on the Suns, as they flipped Royce O’Neal to Phoenix for three second-round picks.
“We go through these days always thinking about future resilience, trying to maintain a certain level of sustainability when we look at what does the team look like this year, six months from now? What does it look like in three or four years?” “We feel good about it with the addition of the players that we’ve added, but at the same time, you’re keeping some of those draft assets as well, that future flexibility,” general manager Sean Marks said before the Nets’ 118-95 loss to the Cavaliers at Barclays Center.
The Nets also brought back Thaddeus Young from the Raptors but waived him, according to a source, along with Harry Giles III.
After acquiring four first-round picks and a trade from Phoenix for Kevin Durant, they added Keita Bates-Diop and three seconds: picks in 2028 and 29 picks (via Memphis) plus the less-favorite 2026 for Detroit, Orlando and Milwaukee. They waived Jordan Goodwin as well.
“I’m going to miss my kids. That’s probably the first thing. I’m going to miss being around them every day and wishing the best for them,” said Mikal Bridges. “Dennis, he’s played against him for years and he’s crafty and knows the game. He wants to win, he’s won at different stages. So it’s good to have him, he will fit in perfectly with us and help us. We are 20-31 years old, so we need as much help as possible (as much as possible).
“Diop, this is my son too. It will be nice to see him when he gets here. But I know him, he plays hard and he plays the right way too. But obviously my boys will miss them.”
The biggest immediate addition is Schroeder, once he is cleared.
YES Network reported that it will likely be Saturday.
Despite future flexibility, it’s Schröder’s ability to replace Dinwiddie and complement Ben Simmons that will determine if they can at least ascend to a starting spot.
“It’s really important that we go out there and compete. That’s the No. 1 thing,” Marks said. “Our goal here is to play in the postseason, that’s for sure. I’m not going to go into that locker room and tell that group anything different.
“They’re a young, competitive group, and they want to prove to people that they can do it. So hopefully there’s continuity within the roster, and health is the No. 1 priority for every team. But over the course of the next 32 games, that’s what we’d like to see is competition.” At a high level, day and night, seeing who rises to the occasion.
The Nets retained Dorian Finney-Smith, the third 30-year-old player on the market and also the one they asked the highest price for.
The Marks declined an offer for two first-round picks for Finney-Smith at last year’s deadline and did not receive an offer they were satisfied with this time around.
“It worked, man,” Vinnie Smith told The Post. “I made it past the trade deadline. No, that’s what comes with it, man. (Shoot), it’s part of it. There’s nothing we can do about it. Teams are going to do what they have to do to make their team better. So I always tell people if we don’t Win, our dressing room might look different in February. So they’re always facts, and it was like that wherever you were.
Between not getting a requested extension in the summer and starting the season on the bench behind Ben Simmons, Dinwiddie admitted he wasn’t part of the long-term plan.
His game deteriorated to the point where he became a distressed asset.
The Nets haven’t found a big market for Dinwiddie, and his dwindling value is evident in The Athletic’s reports that Toronto plans to waive him to avoid his upcoming $1.5 million bonus. The former Maverick was in attendance at Dallas’ game on Thursday and is expected to sign with the Mavs.
The Nets will miss O’Neal, who shot 43.4 percent of his shots in the fourth quarter.
“We look at our record and say, ‘Look, we’d like to have a better record than we have now,’” Marks said. “We know what fits with our schedule, what we’re looking for and what we’re judging these guys on. Part of that is the moves we made at this deadline, the moves we’ll make in the draft and then into free agency: who fits and who could be net Long term here.