Nets’ Seth Curry explodes in tough loss in Philly amid trade rumors

Seth Curry, Brooklyn Nets

On the day Seth Curry’s name was mentioned in trade rumors, the Brooklyn Nets guard came off the bench to drop a season-high 32 points in a tough loss against his former team.

But his best game since getting traded to Brooklyn as part of the James Harden-Ben Simmons swap was not enough to lift the Nets over the Philadelphia 76ers, who held on to a 137-133 win in an emotional game Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Curry scored 16 points in the second half when the Nets rallied from a 17-point deficit to tie the game at 120-120 on his three-pointer. He matched his season-high with seven three-pointers made.

“I wanted to just smack him,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers, Curry’s father-in-law, joked after the game. “I was going to go over and see my grandkids on Sunday, and now I’m re-thinking that now from that performance.”

Curry’s performance may have been fueled by his desire to show his former team what they gave up.

“He was great,” Rivers said, joking aside. “He made every shot because you know that’s how players are. When they come back and play against teams that they were playing for — no matter if it was a good trade, bad trade — they want to kill you, and he did that tonight. So, I get that.”

But it also came at an interesting time when his name was floated in trade rumors. Perhaps, he also wanted to show his current team that he wasn’t merely a throw-in to the Harden package and to be thrown away in another trade.

Kevin O’Connor reported on The Ringer before the high-profile game that Curry is among the Nets players that could be traded in their attempt to shore up their thin frontline despite Nic Claxton having a career season.

“League sources say the Nets are one of the teams more actively looking for upgrades before the stretch run.

Joe Harris ($18.6 million), Seth Curry ($8.5 million), and Patty Mills ($6.5 million) could be involved in trades because of their short-term salaries and the fact that they’ve been playing lesser roles lately.”

Kevin O’Connor via The Ringer

Claxton reset his career-high in points for the second straight game. He held his own against Joel Embiid and finished with a new career-high 25 points on 11 of 12 shots, 11 rebounds, and two blocks. But outside of him, no Nets player has pulled down more than six rebounds.

Curry’s performance should boost his value, making him the Nets’ most valuable chip approaching the trade deadline. Joe Harris’ contract is harder to move as he’s been a shell of himself since returning from a serious ankle injury. Patty Mills had been out of the regular rotation.

Outside of them, the Nets have not much to offer besides draft picks, their own 2028 and 2029 first-round selections, and a future first from Philadelphia in 2027 or 2028.

The Nets desperately need help in the interim as they try to stay afloat without Kevin Durant and down the road when bigger teams can overwhelm them in the playoffs.

Will Curry be the sacrificial lamb or will the Nets bank on his hot-shooting to negate their size disadvantage?

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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