In the third season of Mikhail Prokhorov’s grandiose five-year plan, the Nets have gone from one of the worst teams in the NBA to contenders. They are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 27-18 record so far.
Nets will be buyers this deadline looking to add difference makers to achieve Prokhorov’s goal making the conference finals this season. Nets have shown their willingness to spend big bucks on their roster in order to win.
The Dwight Howard-to-Brooklyn saga continues.
The Nets expressed interest in Howard before his blockbuster trade to the Los Angeles Lakers. Since then, Nets center Brook Lopez received a max contract and is playing at a high level.
According the New York Daily News, Nets management are no longer interested in acquiring Howard in wake of Lopez's performance.
Trading for Howard would not be beneficial for the Nets. Howard can whine about touches, throw players and coaches under the bus, and cause friction in the locker room. He could also sign a max contract for approximately five-year, $117.9 million to remain a Laker or similar with a sign and trade, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Nets would be wise to keep the younger, taller center who already received his four-year, $60 million contract at the start of the season. Lopez has an overall better offensive game, a better PER and has built chemistry with the current Nets roster.
Nets management should not completely close the door on this deal, though. With the Lakers' season spiraling out of control, desperation can be a valuable tool to use during negotiation.
The Nets have the ability to add another offensive threat to complement Joe Johnson and Deron Williams.
According to Fox Sports Ohio, Nets are interested in acquiring the Jazz's Paul Millsap, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Nets can possibly offer Millsap an extension upon completion of the trade.
Millsap would be an improvement over most current Nets power forwards. Millsap is currently averaging 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds with a PER of 20.21.
Kris Humphries, who is believed to be part of the trade, is averaging 6.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and below average PER.
Acquiring Millsap would provide additional offense and upgrade the Nets' defense.
If the Nets cannot acquire Dwight Howard or Paul Millsap, Bucks forward Ersan Ilyasova is another option.
According to the New York Times, the Nets would have been interested in trading Ilyasova for seldom-used MarShon Brooks, but the Turkish forward’s new five-year, $40 million contract is a high price to pay for his services.
Ilyasova is 6’10” small forward who can make shots beyond the arc and make free throws consistently. This season, Ilyasova is averaging 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds with a PER of 17.06 in 24.1 minutes of action.
If Nets management can get over the sticker shock, Ilyasova would provide the Nets depth on the bench.
Danny Ainge may be looking to blow up the Boston Celtics roster after the season-ending injury to Rajon Rondo in order to get some value back out of his veterans.
Garnett would add instant leadership and intensity to the Nets roster in the midst of a playoff run. Garnett is only guaranteed $6 million in the final year of his contract when he’ll be 38 years old. At 36, he is still contributing at a decent level with 15 points and 7.3 rebounds a game.
There is no telling if Garnett and the Nets roster can get along after the recent scuffle. Nets can only hope.
Rudy Gay is once again on the trading block.
According to Peter Vecsey from the New York Post, the Nets are interested in acquiring Rudy Gay from the Memphis Grizzlies. Vecsey recently tweeted "There's validity to Nets' interest in Gay. How it turns out is anyone's guess".
Gay has three years remaining in his contract, averaging over $16 million a season. Although his PER is below average (14.39), Gay is a dynamic scorer who averages 17.2 points a game and contributes 5.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists.
The knocks against Gay are his poor shot selection at times and his high salary at the end of his contract. Gay will earn $19 million the last year of his contract, which some consider too much money for someone who has not proven himself in the playoffs.
The Grizzlies’ all-time leader in steals can play defense as well. If Prokhorov is serious about spending to win, he should obtain Rudy Gay.