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Paul Millsap: Brooklyn Nets Wise to Target Utah Jazz Forward

Jan 11, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap (24) drives to the basket around Atlanta Hawks power forward Ivan Johnson (44) during the fourth quarter at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 105-93. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
Pete SchauerCorrespondent IFebruary 13, 2013

First it was Ben Gordon, then it was Josh Smith and now it's Paul Millsap.

The Brooklyn Nets are trying to bolster their lineup, and after two failed attempts at Gordon and Smith, have reportedly shifted their focus to Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap.

According to New York Daily News' Mitch Lawrence, Millsap is now a target of the Nets, who have a history of dealing with the Jazz.

Almost two years ago, then based in New Jersey, the Nets acquired All-Star point guard Deron Williams from Utah and have since built around Williams in the franchise's move to Brooklyn.

With the Nets struggling of late—they're just 6-4 in its last 10 games—Brooklyn is looking to make a move to contend in the East come playoff time.

Brooklyn has made it known that it's willing to part with power forward Kris Humphries and shooting guard MarShon Brooks (via NBC Sports), and with Millsap putting together another solid season, this is a smart offer from the Nets.

Kris Humphries can be a double-double machine when he wants to be, but his inconsistent play has affected his minutes this season.

MarShon Brooks proved last season that he can score in the NBA, and at just 24, Brooks is still far from hitting his prime.

Brooklyn is willing to surrender these two non-starters in favor of Millsap, who's averaging 14.9 PPG and 7.4 RPG to go with a 74-percent free-throw percentage.

Millsap is coming off a double-double against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night—his 11th of the season.

Not only would Millsap bolster the offense, but he's an excellent defender as well.

He averages 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks per game and is a fantastic defensive player despite being slightly undersized (6'8") at the 4 spot.

Clearly the Nets see that they have the opportunity to acquire a solid starter at power forward by parting ways with two bench players who have seen their minutes fade compared to last season.

If Brooklyn can pull of this deal, it would solidify them as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.

If Deron Williams can get healthy, the Nets would sport a dynamic lineup of Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Millsap and Brook Lopez—surely a playoff roster.

In my opinion, Brooklyn will likely have to include some sort of draft pick alongside Humphries and Brooks to make this deal work, but it'd definitely be worth it.

All signs point to GM Billy King and the Nets making some sort of move by the Feb. 21 deadline.

Brooklyn fans, let's just hope it's for Millsap.

 

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