As we approach the 2013 NBA Trade Deadline, one of the teams most commonly associated with potential deals is the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets have been involved in rumors with multiple teams and numerous star players.
Unfortunately, the Nets must cope with their inability to make a significant trade at the deadline.
Chris Broussard of ESPN New York reported last week that the Nets were "aggressively pursuing" Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks. Their offer, at that time, was MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and a future first-round draft choice.
According to Jeff Zillgitt and Sam Amick of USA Today, the Nets continue to pursue Smith with that same deal as their proposal.
Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Nets are interested in acquiring Boston Celtics swingman Paul Pierce. The Celtics have placed a high asking price on Pierce, specifically for a division rival.
Once again, Brooklyn's offer is Humphries, Brooks and a future first round draft choice.
The Nets, again, offered Humphries, Brooks and a future first round draft choice.
For those wondering why the Nets are so insistent upon trading those assets, it's rather simple. Without blowing up the core of their franchise, they don't have much else to offer.
Not if they want to move forward, as opposed to laterally, upon completing a trade.
The Kris Humphries Factor
As previously alluded to, the Brooklyn Nets have included power forward Kris Humphries in all trade proposals. This could be appealing to potential suitors, as Humphries averaged 13.8 points and 11.0 rebounds in 2011-12.
Unfortunately, Humphries is also set to make $12 million in 2013-14.
In terms of quality of play, Humphries is someone you want on your team. Not only can he crash the boards, but he's a true enforcer along the interior.
Unfortunately for the Nets, Humphries is also a role player making $12 million.
For the Atlanta Hawks, they are a team that is preparing for a huge offseason. This comes with Atlanta having just $22 million locked up entering free agency.
With that being established, why would they commit $12 million to a player who has displayed no signs of being an All-Star? Chances are, they wouldn't.
Which is exactly why Atlanta will not accept this trade from Brooklyn—especially not as Smith is set to become a free agent.
As for the Milwaukee Bucks, Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis are expected to hit the open market this summer. For that reason, tying up $12 million in Humphries seems none too appealing.
Another trade in which Brooklyn can't quite get it done.
Legends and Rivals
If the Brooklyn Nets were to acquire Paul Pierce via the Boston Celtics, they'd likely attempt to use him as trade bait to acquire Josh Smith of the Atlanta Hawks. With that being said, there is one piece of information we must take into account.
The Celtics would be trading Pierce, a 10-time All-Star, to a team within their division—a rival.
Loyalty may not be important to this generation of stars, but the Celtics are a different type of organization. With Pierce in the midst of his 15th season with the franchise, it's unlikely that they'll part ways after everything he's done for their team and city.
If they are to deal him, it's even more unlikely that they send Pierce to a team that they play four times per season.
This is yet another hurdle for Brooklyn to overcome in executing a significant trade. Unfortunately for the Nets, these hurdles appear to be insurmountable.
If an opposing side's logic plays any role at all, Brooklyn will be forced to remain idle at the trade deadline.