The Brooklyn Nets continued their roster turnover in the wake of the Kyrie Irving deal, trading bench forward Kessler Edwards and cash considerations to the Sacramento Kings for draft rights to David Michineau. The deal was a clear move by the Nets to clear up more space, potentially for another move before Thursday’s trade deadline.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the deal and the Nets made it official shortly before their game against the Phoenix Suns.
Nets are finalizing trade to send forward Kessler Edwards and cash to the Kings, sources tell ESPN. The Nets save a total of $8M in salary and luxury tax and open up a roster spot. Edwards still has to approve trade because he has a "one-year Bird Rights restriction" in his deal.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2023
Edwards has “Bird Rights” and needed to approve the deal, and is expected to join the Kings’ G-League team in Stockton as a way to prove himself to NBA teams again. The youngster had been bouncing between the Brooklyn Nets and their G-League affiliate on Long Island.
The 22-year-old former Nets second-round pick was never quite able to build on an uninspiring rookie season. Last year, he played 20.6 minutes a game for Brooklyn, in large part due to a multitude of injuries and COVID issues, averaging 5.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 0.6 assists.
This year he has only played in 14 games for the Nets, averaging 5.6 minutes per game and getting buried by the emergence of Cam Thomas and Yuta Watanabe, among others.
While the Nets will certainly not turn their nose up at getting second-round draft picks back for Edwards, the goal of the deal appears to be to free up a roster spot and reduce their luxury tax penalty by $7 million while also generating a $1.6 million trade exception.
What the Nets will do with that is anybody’s guess.
They have publicly stated that they are not interested in moving Kevin Durant, so Sean Marks seems to be gearing up for another addition to the roster. The Nets have been heavily linked to the Toronto Raptors, whom they tried to work into the Kyrie Irving deal.
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Christian Arnold contributed to this report.