The Nets need young help with perimeter defense, and they got it just this Monday when they traded for Bruce Brown.
Brooklyn sent Zanan Musa and one of their supplies from the second round in 2021 to the Detroit Pistons for Brown. The move was first announced by ESPN and confirmed by The Post. It will become official at noon after the NBA’s moratorium on transactions is lifted.
With so far injured superstars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving returning this upcoming season, the Nets are expected to fight … and score a goal. Their protection from behind needed a boost, and 24-year-old Brown provided that.
Choosing a second round in 2018, Brown played 132 games in his first two seasons in the NBA and started 99 of them thanks mainly to his work at this end of the court. While his averages of 8.9 points, 4.7 rebounds and 34.4 percent depth shooting are average, he was the Pistons̵
Brown’s 3-point shooting was improved compared to his rookie campaign, as well as his pick-and-play playmaking. And it comes at a very small price.
Musa, number 29 in the 2018 NBA Draft, was considered an offended player, but may have been the only disappointing choice for general manager Sean Marx. Wing 6-9 has never been given a role with the Nets and although he has talent, his production and selection lag behind his confidence.
Brooklyn will need Brown’s defense much more than he occasionally needs to score Musa, averaging just 4.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 40 games last season.
Landry Chamett and Shay Gilgius-Alexander were the only rookies to register more minutes for the playoffs in 2018-19, when he also broke the Top 20 in DRAYMOND, the new 538 player rating rating.
Watching Brown’s young job guarding NBA champion James Harden – linked to the Nets as a potential third-star partner for Durant and Irving – should give an indication of his strength at this end of the court.
The Nets are actually saving money on the deal, with Brown earning $ 1.7 million, while Musa will win $ 2 million and have $ 3.6 million options in 2021-22. And while the second-round choice may actually be more valuable for the Reconstruction of the Pistons, the Nets were on par with them.
Brooklyn had four runners-up: from Atlanta (in Alan Crabbe’s payroll), from Indiana (in trade with Caris LeVert / Thad Young), from Phoenix (to take on Jared Dudley’s contract) and Toronto (to swallow the bloated deal of Greg Monroe). The choice in Monday’s deal is the one they received from the Raptors, according to ESPN.