Enough games have been played this NBA season to sense where teams stand relative to the rest of the NBA. Some NBA Teams have solidly established themselves as playoff contenders, whereas others have fallen outside of the playoff picture. It is early enough in the NBA season where the right trade could save a season for certain teams, and this eight-part series of trades could turn around each team involved with the right factors.
Brooklyn Receives: Jeremy Lamb, Spencer Hawes, Roy Hibbert, Charlotte 1st Round Pick
Charlotte Receives: Brook Lopez
Brooklyn is not going to make the playoffs; they also don’t have their first round pick because of the 2013 trade with Boston that got the Nets Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. They are stuck with no present and no clear future, and Brook Lopez is the only player on their roster who is an average or above level starter in the NBA, and the Nets should move him if they get a deal this good before he inevitably walks away as a free agent in two seasons.
Jeremy Lamb is a good piece. The former lottery pick hasn’t gotten the chance as a member of two talented Oklahoma City and Charlotte teams, but on Brooklyn, he could get some good playing time and a chance to develop into a contributor. Lamb is currently averaging 7.0 points and 4.0 rebounds per game for Charlotte.
In the eleven games in which Lamb has received 30-39 minutes, however, Lamb has averaged 15.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in 32.9 minutes per game on 45.9% shooting and 44.9% from three. He is still just 24 years old, and has many good years as a pro ahead of him.
Hawes is another former lottery pick, but the days of waiting for his prime are long gone. Hawes is a seven footer who can stretch the floor out (35.2% career three point,) and if the Nets don’t keep him themselves, they can move him for assets to a contender that will want his services. He’s currently averaging 8.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game for Charlotte.
With Hibbert, who knows? Maybe on a team where he can be a primary option again, he will return to his Indiana all-star and defensive player of the year candidate form. Even if he doesn’t, Hibbert is still a massive 7’2″ center who can protect the rim (current 1.8 blocks per 36 minutes) in the right role.
In the 194 career games he’s played 30-39 minutes, Hibbert has averaged 14.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in 33.3 minutes per game. Like with Lamb, these are 30-39 minute roles is one that Hibbert could conceivably have because Brooklyn is just that deprived of talent.
The first round pick is nice for Brooklyn since they don’t have one. It isn’t going to be a high first round pick because Charlotte is a good team that would only get better with Brook Lopez, but it is still young talent to add to a team desperate to acquire it.
Lopez gives Charlotte a whole new dimension. He is averaging 20.7 points and 5.3 rebounds in just 26.7 minutes per game. His PER is at 24.2, and he is simply playing like an all-star. The new dimension comes from him being someone who can create his own shot in the front court. Right now, only Kemba Walker can really create his own shot going to the basket.
The Charlotte team Lopez would play for would easily be the best team in his career. The last time his team was highly competitive and he played a big role on it, Lopez was an all-star in 2012-2013. There is no reason to think he couldn’t return to this level under Steve Clifford’s defensive tutelage.
Here is what each team is left with:
|Projected Brooklyn Nets Depth|
|PG||Jeremy Lin||Greivis Vasquez||Randy Foye||Yogi Ferrell|
|SG||Jeremy Lamb||Sean Kilpatrick||Joe Harris||Isaiah Whitehead|
|SF||Bojan Bogdanovic||Rondae Hollis-Jefferson||Caris LeVert|
|PF||Trevor Booker||Luis Scola||Chris McCullough||Anthony Bennett|
|C||Roy Hibbert||Spencer Hawes||Justin Hamilton|
|Projected Charlotte Hornets Depth|
|PG||Kemba Walker||Ramon Sessions||Brian Roberts|
|SG||Nicolas Batum||Aaron Harrison||Treveon Graham|
|SF||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||Marco Belinelli|
|PF||Marvin Williams||Frank Kaminsky||Christian Wood|
|C||Brook Lopez||Cody Zeller|