In what is essentially a dead rubber season, the Brooklyn Nets must continue to improve the roster or acquire pieces for the future.
While the Nets have very little in terms of valuable trade assets, one player that will garner attention on the open market is non other than DeMarre Carroll.
At 15-23, some may say the Brooklyn Nets have over achieved this season. With marquee wins against elite teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, Washington Wizards and the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Nets have shown they can compete with the big boys. However, inconsistent play has often undone the good work and positive signs one night seem like fools gold the next.
One player who has performed particularly well is DeMarre Carroll. After an ugly exit from the Toronto Raptors, Carroll has bounced back to record career highs in points (12.4), rebounds (6.7) and assists (1.8) per game. While he has shot an inefficient 39.3 percent from the field and a subpar 33.5 percent from three, the 31 year old small forward continues to be a solid perimeter defender. His three and D skillset will appeal to fringe playoff teams short on wings, thus the correct next step is to at the very least, try to acquire a 2018 first round pick for his services.
Lets take a look at three teams who may be interested in his services.
After a hot start to the 2017-18 NBA season, the Indiana Pacers have cooled off. An injury to star guard Victor Oladipo combined with a porous defense has seen the Pacers drop five straight games. With a 19-19 record, Indy only sit half a game ahead of the 76ers for the eighth spot. If Indiana intend on going to the playoffs, they need to make roster adjustments to truly compete.
One huge area of need is at small forward. As currently constructed, the Pacers are playing Serbian Bojan Bogdanovic as their starting three. Bogdanovic is an offensive minded, three-point specialist, experiencing career highs in points per game (13.8) and field goal percentage (47.7) this season. A 38.8 percent three-point shooter this season, Indy primarily use him as a spot-up shooter. With Nate McMillan implementing a live by the three, die by the three offense, he has excelled on the offensive side of the ball this year.
However, his contributions on defense are virtually non-existant. The Pacers sit 24th in the league defensive efficiency (1.071), 23rd in points allowed (107.4) and 25th in defending the three-point line (31.6). While Carroll isn’t the shooter Bojan is, he is a strong perimeter defender. He has been a plus defender his whole career (defensive plus-minus of 0.4) and is known to take on opposing teams toughest assignments. Although Carroll is shooting five points worse from range, he is a solid three and D that fills a gaping need for Indiana.
The Denver Nuggets continue to experience a recurring issue – having a competitive roster without having a superstar talent to lead the team. Currently sitting sixth in a loaded Western Conference, Denver’s young roster has performed tremendously well since losing Paul Millsap to injury. Young guns Gary Harris, Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic continue to impress but consistency remains a huge problem on both ends. Poor decision making, lacklustre defense and trigger happy offense currently limits Denver’s ceiling.