The Brooklyn Nets are surging—they're 12-2 under new head coach PJ Carlesimo—but that doesn't mean that they wouldn't like to improve before the February 21 trade deadline.
While the list may not be very long, there are definitely items that the Nets would like to pick up before the deadline passes.
Brooklyn is set at most positions on the court.
Deron Williams and C.J. Watson have both been playing well—especially Williams of late—and there's no need to upgrade the point guard position.
The same conclusion can be made at shooting guard. Joe Johnson and MarShon Brooks have provided the team with quality minutes and strong scoring ever since Carlesimo took over.
Starting forward is an interesting scenario.
Gerald Wallace has had problems with health this season, mostly because of his aggressive style of play—they don't call him "Crash" for nothing. When on the court, he brings a strong defensive presence to the team.
In his stead, Keith Bogans has played quality minutes. Bogans does not offer much in the way of scoring, but his defense is superb. He plays great defense along the perimeter.
The third man in that rotation is Mirza Teletovic. He's played both forward positions, but his scoring potential makes him a valuable asset when Wallace is banged up.
Even though Dwight Howard's name has been popping up in trade rumors recently, general manager Billy King has made the smart choice by sticking with Brook Lopez. There's no need for Howard when Lopez is playing so well (18.5 points per game, 7.4 rebounds per game).
The only position of concern, therefore, is power forward.
Kris Humphries and his two-year, $24 million contract have severely underperformed this season. He's been so bad that Reggie Evans, a reserve for nearly half of his career games played, has been thrust into the starting lineup.
To Evans' credit, he has played better than expected. In 21.9 minutes per game, he's pulling down 9.0 rebounds and shooting 49.4 percent from the floor.
The only problem with Evans is the lack of scoring potential he provides. He's dropping just 3.3 points per game.
With that being the case, the Nets need to upgrade at the four. Luckily for them, there are a few options that they can consider.
The Nets could be a trade partner for the Jazz, though a trade could prove difficult. It would be hard for the Nets to fit Millsap's $8.6 million salary into this season's cap room.
That being said, trading for him would give the Nets Millsap's Bird rights, allowing them to sign him to an extension regardless of their lack of cap room.
A trade of Jerry Stackhouse, Mirza Teletovic and Marshon Brooks could work if the Nets rely on his Bird rights, or a deal of Kris Humphries and Brooks could clear the space necessary.
It really comes down to what the Jazz are looking for in return.
Mo Williams and Randy Foye are both in the last year of their respective contracts in Utah, and Brooks could serve as a nice point/combo guard for the team moving forward.
Ilyasova was high on the Nets' wish list this offseason, even ahead of Kris Humphries, but King instead opted to re-sign the latter.
To acquire Ilyasova, the Nets will likely have to part ways with Brooks, Tyshawn Taylor and Humphries (to make the salaries match).
Along with Ilyasova, Joel Przybilla and Marquis Daniels would come to Brooklyn.
Ilyasova would provide the Nets starting lineup with a much more consistent scoring presence along with at least average rebounding.
With the Indiana Pacers now being Paul George's team, Danny Granger may become available before the trade deadline. Even if his knee is healed before the deadline, the Pacers could move him for the right price.
Brooks should be enough to intrigue the Pacers. Aside from George Hill, D.J. Augustin is the only other relevant guard in the Pacers' rotation.
Augustin is a free agent following this season, and Brooks could step right in and start in 2013-14.
Humphries would have to be involved to make the salaries matched, but his presence in Indiana could be useful next season. David West and Tyler Hansbrough are free agents after the season.
The Nets would have to be wary of Granger's health, though. That could be the only thing holding this deal back.
While all three trades work in terms of plausibility and cap room, there's one trade that stands out above the rest.
Millsap's Bird rights make a trade involving him much easier to work with. The Nets will have more options regarding outgoing players in this scenario, as they can choose to be creative and move a player like Humphries in a separate deal.
Millsap can solve the team's scoring problems from power forward, while also improving the team under the glass.
If the Jazz are willing to discuss a trade, Billy King should take all steps necessary to make it happen.
*All statistics as of January 23, and all trades verified on ESPN's NBA Trade Machine
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