The Brooklyn Nets need help at the power forward position, but they're not going to get it by pulling the trigger on a blockbuster trade.
Because they don't have another deal of that magnitude in them.
Definitely, but why stop there?
Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Denver are among the teams that might make a play for Utah forward Paul Millsap at the deadline. Millsap's contract expires at season's end. Most teams interested in obtaining Millsap, however, would do so with the intent of offering him an immediate extension.
Equally as implausible?
I won't deny that Millsap would enhance the Nets' two-way attack considerably and I also won't even attempt to conceive how they plan to use Gay and Joe Johnson simultaneously.
What I will do is acknowledge this isn't going to happen. None of it. Brooklyn doesn't have the means to make it so.
Mikhail Prokhorov would have no problem shelling out the funds to pay Millsap or Gay, yet who does he propose the Nets deal to make either of these targets a Brooklyn resident?
Memphis wants salary cap relief and would surely welcome the talents of Marshon Brooks, but the Grizzlies aren't about to take on the cumbersome deals of Gerald Wallace or Johnson. Brooklyn could use Kris Humphries, Brooks and one of its trade exceptions to take back Gay and Tony Wroten from the the Grizzlies, but is Memphis about to jump at this deal?
Uh, hell no.
Not only would a deal along those lines barely bring Memphis below the luxury tax lines, but having Humphries, Zach Randolph and Marreese Speights on the same roster is a more than redundant.
How about Millsap, though? Utah will want to get something in exchange for him before he potentially leaves this summer, right?
Of course, but the Nets don't have that something.
Again, Marshon Brooks is an enticing young piece for a Jazz team that could use some backcourt depth, but who do the Nets trade to make the financial aspect of it work?
Like Memphis, Utah isn't about to take on the hefty deals of Wallace or Johnson, and if the Jazz were prepared to pay Kris Humphries $12 million this season and next, why wouldn't they just re-sign Millsap? So a deal along those lines doesn't make sense either.
And the same goes for Josh Smith, DeMarcus Cousins and any other big names the Nets may be targeting.
Short on dealing Deron Williams (maybe Brook Lopez?) Brooklyn doesn't have the assets or even picks necessary to pull off another coup. It also doesn't help that the Nets are the antithesis of financial flexibility. They have more than $87.5 million committed in payroll this season, and more than $89.5 million next year.
I'm not implying they couldn't get anything for Humphries and/or Brooks, because they could. But not a potential or bona fide superstar.
Fire sales don't apply to superstars. The Jazz or Grizzlies could collapse tomorrow and they're not going to trade some of their best players for an underwhelming return, especially one that won't even save them a pile of money, or in Utah's case, money at all.
This is the team the Nets have, and it's the one that—in terms of superstars—they're stuck with.
Ambitious dreams are often phenomenal, but they're often unrealistic. In this case, it's the latter.
Brooklyn isn't a bad team. When playing to its potential, its a great one, a potential contender even. What it's not, though, is flexible. Not financially or personnel wise. It takes both to pull off a blockbuster accord.
The same type of accord the Nets pulled the trigger on when they acquired Deron Williams. And Gerald Wallace. And Joe Johnson.
But it's also the same type of deal the Nets are not capable of making.
*All stats in this article are accurate as of January 20, 2013.