4. Royce O’Neale
O’Neale has been the subject of trade rumors this offseason because of the Nets’ logjam on the wing. Mikal Bridges is the team’s star, and Cameron Johnson just got a massive four-year contract this summer. The Nets traded a first-round pick for O’Neale in the summer of 2022, and Dorian Finney-Smith was a key piece of the return for Kyrie Irving. All four want to playing 30-plus minutes per game, but the Nets do not have that many minutes to give.
Ben Simmons also looms if he can get healthy and regain his confidence. That is a massive question mark, but the Nets have $78.2 million committed to him over the next two years, which gives them plenty of incentive.
O’Neale is on a $9.5 million expiring contract, and he seems likely to leave for a contender in free agency. The Nets should look to trade him now to maximize their return. The 6’4 wing showed improved ball-handling and playmaking chops last season, and fans know O’Neale knocks down shots and defends multiple positions.
Brooklyn is likely holding out for a first-round draft pick in return for Royce O’Neale. The Boston Celtics could put together a competitive package and add a replacement for Grant Williams on a cheaper contract.