With Sean Marks and the Nets looking to trade current pieces for future assets, the Brooklyn Nets will be a prime candidate for selling off pieces at the trade deadline.
Jeremy Lin was ruled out for the next three to five weeks after re-aggravating his hamstring injury, which may open the gates for a flurry of Nets trades. Although Brooklyn's position in the standings is relatively unimportant given that the Celtics hold swap rights for their first round pick, the Nets may have wanted to hold off on potential trades to see how Lin would fit alongside Brook Lopez and some of Brooklyn's younger pieces. At this point, however, the Nets may enter fire sale mode to try to get as many young assets as possible. With a number of veterans on the roster, Brooklyn will have multiple ways to refresh their roster.
Brooklyn's most valuable piece has been on and off the trade market for much of his career. The Nets are looking to get two first round picks for Lopez according to ESPN's Marc Stein. However, there do not appear to be many teams that would be willing to part with those picks for Lopez. Unless Sean Marks brings down the price, Brooklyn may not be able to find any takers. That being said, Lopez is good enough that the Nets should strongly consider holding on to him unless they get a remarkable offer.
One potential candidate for a Lopez trade would be the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland does not really need another offense-first big man, but Lopez is about average on the defensive end. He makes up for his limited athleticism with his fantastic defensive IQ, and he uses his size well to contest shots at the rim. He would certainly be a defensive upgrade over Mason Plumlee.
Portland could build a package centered around New York native Maurice Harkless and their first round pick that would be enticing to Brooklyn. Harkless is entering the first year of a four-year $40 million deal. He is putting up 11 points per game with solid efficiency (56.3% True Shooting), while also playing solid defense despite Portland's issues on that end of the floor. The Blazers would need to add in Festus Ezeli and either Jake Layman or Pat Connaughton for salary matching purposes, but this deal could work out well for both sides. Brooklyn might also take a chance on Ezeli's partial guarantee for next season; since they will likely be below the salary cap in 2017-2018, picking up the second year of Ezeli's contract seems like a low-risk, high-upside move despite his health issues.
Beyond Portland, there are not many teams that are in or near playoff contention that they need a center. That will certainly depress the value that Sean Marks can extract from Lopez. However, there may be more shake-ups before the trade deadline that can create a market for Brook Lopez. If that market does not materialize, Marks may look to deal Lopez on draft night in similar fashion to the Thaddeus Young deal last offseason.
Bojan Bogdanovic is on an expiring contract, which means that the Nets will have to make a difficult decision regarding his future at some point in the next few months. Bojan is only in his third NBA season but will turn 28 before the end of the year, so he does not have the upside of most third year players. He is also having a career year in terms of both scoring (14.2 points per game) and efficiency (58.0% True Shooting).
Bogdanovic might be worth a late first round pick to a team in playoff contention given his shooting ability. He is shooting 37.9% from deep on 5.1 attempts per game this year. He also ranks in the 79th percentile on catch-and-shoot jumpers per Synergy Sports, scoring 1.17 points per possession on those looks.
Utah might consider trading the Warriors' first round pick for Bojan since Rudy Gobert can cover for his defensive woes; however, they have a very similar player in Joe Ingles already and Ingles has been a far better three-point shooter this year. Another potential destination would be the Houston Rockets; they own their first round pick this year and could dump Corey Brewer's salary on the Nets as well to sweeten the deal on their end. Most teams will probably not be willing to give up a first round pick for an expiring contract--especially since Bogdanovic has a 15% trade kicker. However, Brooklyn's ability to take on bad short-term contracts like Brewer (who has one more year on his deal after this one) might help them to acquire some assets in return for Bogdanovic.
Randy Foye could move to a new team in a similar deal to one for Bogdanovic. The main difference is their age; while Bogdanovic could potentially be a useful player in a few years after the Nets rebuild, Randy Foye is 33 and will certainly not be a part of the Nets future. With his contract also expiring at the end of the year, Brooklyn would love to be able to get an asset in return for Foye if they do not decide to buy out his contract.
After a rough start to the season, Foye is shooting 42.9% from three-point range in January. He could be a valuable veteran presence as well for a younger team. If Brooklyn can find a bidder for Foye who would be willing to give up a future second-round pick, they would be well-served to move on from him and open up some more minutes for Caris LeVert and Isaiah Whitehead.
The biggest trade asset on the Nets roster is undoubtedly Brook Lopez. Brooklyn might not be able to find a trade partner willing to pay a decent price for their star big man. However, as Stan Van Gundy recently said, everyone in the NBA is available. If Sean Marks can find a good deal for basically anyone on the roster besides Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (and potentially those two as well, depending on the offer), Brooklyn should try to cash in as many current chips as possible for potential building blocks for the future.