NBA Rumors: Nets Must Add DeShawn Stevenson to Toughen Up Team

Alex KayCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  DeShawn Stevenson #92 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The Mavericks won 105-95. 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The clock is ticking on the New Jersey Nets' need to address their defensive deficiencies.

With the NBA season less than four days away from tip off, the team is trying to swing a blockbuster trade for reigning three-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard.

However, it’s not looking promising after a prediction that Orlando would move their superstar yesterday failed to come true.

The Nets are aware of their lack of tenacity and are reportedly in “serious” negotiations with DeShawn Stevenson’s agent to sign the brawny 6’5” 30-year-old shooting guard.

It’s a smart move and one that must be completed soon before he opts to sign elsewhere. They cannot afford to sit around and hope Magic GM Otis Smith suddenly decides it's time to flip Howard.

The grizzled veteran was a major contributor on the Dallas Mavericks’ title-winning team last season. His ability to harass the opposing team's best perimeter player, including a near lockdown of LeBron James in the Finals, was invaluable during that run. 

New Jersey’s owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, has been opening up his wallet over the past few days. He just re-signed Kris Humphries to a one-year, $8 million deal to bang down low and grab rebounds.

Adding Stevenson would be a perfect move to give them some more toughness in the backcourt and a ferocious defender to rotate at the two with three-point specialist Anthony Morrow.

The Brooklyn bound team is also actively trying to bring Andrei Kirilenko back to the league from his Russian team, which would give them a versatile forward and another strong defensive presence.

Don't sleep on the Nets, who will be one of the most feared teams in the league if they have Humphries, Stevenson and possibly Kirilenko on the roster.

The three will be hounding the opposition, forcing bad shots, grabbing rebounds and picking pockets while Deron Williams and Brook Lopez shoulder the scoring load.