NBA Rumors: Nets Don't Have Necessary Pieces to Sway Paul Millsap from Utah

Tim KeeneyContributor IJanuary 22, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 11:  Paul Millsap #24 of the Utah Jazz drives against Al Horford #15 of the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on January 11, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It's time for the Derrick Favors era to begin in Utah.

That idea might not be met with open arms by all Jazz fans simply because it means Paul Millsap, who is arguably one of the most underrated players in the NBA, would have to be traded. 

As we stand this season, Millsap is a better offensive player than Favors. Although, when you compare their numbers on a per-minute basis, the gap isn't as large as you might think.

Millsap averages 17.5 points and 3.2 assists per 36 minutes while Favors' numbers stand at 15.0 and 1.4, respectively. Moreover, Millsap's offensive rating is a healthy 114 while Favors' sits at 104, according to Basketball Reference.

But the former Georgia Tech star is better on the glass (Favors' rebounding percentage is 16.6; Millsap's is 14.7) and a far more intimidating defender inside (Favors averages 2.5 blocks per 36 minutes; Millsap averages 1.0).

Most importantly, Favors is 21 years old and has shown glimpses of his limitless potential while Millsap's contract is expiring at the end of the season.

It's only a matter of time before the protege takes over, so GM Dennis Lindsey would be wise to ship Millsap to a playoff contender while he can still get something in return for the hard-working, talented big man. 

That's why it's not a surprise that rumors surrounding Millsap continue to pop up (via Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico):

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.

Amico continued via Twitter:

Not "likely," but hear they might make play for Millsap at deadline. RT @brooklynnets11: Any of these likely to Nets? Nene, Boozer, Millsap?

— Sam Amico (@SamAmicoFSO) January 19, 2013

Trading Millsap would be good. Trading him to the Nets? Not so much.

Brooklyn simply doesn't have the pieces to put together a return that would be improve this Utah roster. 

Joe Johnson, Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace—whether they are available or not—are all on long, staggering contracts that would prevent Utah from making any major moves in the foreseeable future. 

Kris Humphries is under contract for just one more year, but no one in the NBA seemed to want him six months ago and acquiring another big man wouldn't make sense for the Jazz. The same goes for Andray Blatche, although he has been impressive this season off the bench. 

Acquiring MarShon Brooks, who is a volume scorer on a cheap contract, could potentially make sense but the Jazz already have one of those in Alec Burks, who doesn't need to be pushed further back in the rotation.

While draft picks can always entice any deal, the Nets have just one selection in this year's draft, and since they are fairly limited in free agency, they probably aren't too keen about giving that up. 

Paul Millsap's time appears to be nearing an end in Utah, but if the Jazz are smart, they will make sure his next destination, at least via trade, isn't Brooklyn.