New Jersey Nets: 5 Untouchables Heading into the Trade Deadline

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIIMarch 5, 2012

New Jersey Nets: 5 Untouchables Heading into the Trade Deadline

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    With Brook Lopez suffering yet another injury, the likelihood of a Dwight Howard trade appears to be slim to none. Nevertheless, the Nets have appeared in trade rumors across the NBA. Whether it's Deron Williams or the players around him, the New Jersey Nets seem poised to make a move before the trade deadline comes and goes.

    With vast amounts of opportunity and fleeting clarity, it's important to know who they should and shouldn't deal. On the following slides, I'll give you an idea as to who those people are.

5. Anthony Morrow, Guard/Forward

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    Anthony Morrow is one of the best pure shooters in the NBA. While he's not the type of player who will lead a lowly team to a turn around season, he's exactly the type of player who could take a talented team to the next level.

    Despite averaging greater than five three-point attempts per contest, Morrow is shooting 40 percent from the distance. He's also a 94 percent free-throw shooter.

    It's numbers like those that could make him the Nets' version of Jason Terry. So tell me, why give that up?

    Season Averages: 12.8 ppg, 40% 3PT, 94% FT

4. Brook Lopez, Center

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    Brook Lopez is currently suffering the fate of Peyton Manning, the quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.

    Despite being as consistently productive as anyone at the center position, his extended stint on the sideline has been the cause of league-wide amnesia. Despite possessing a high ceiling and low-post scoring ability, the Nets are prepared to part ways with Lopez and bring in someone new. Sound familiar?

    Nevertheless, Lopez is someone the Nets must keep on the roster. Maybe as a blessing in disguise, his most recent injury will force them to do so.

    Besides, if you're not trading Brook Lopez for Dwight Howard, what in the world would you be trading him for?

3. Kris Humphries, Forward

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    Whether you like him or not, Kris Humphries is the type of player that defines a team's identity. He rebounds as well as anyone in the NBA, defends with tenacity and gives the Nets an edge on both ends of the floor.

    He's also producing at a career-high.

    While many will argue that Howard's biggest issue was the lack of a true scorer beside him, I feel that misconception must be disproved. His true problem was that he never had a rebounding or defending forward next to him to take the weight off of his shoulders. Humphries would provide that, and Deron Williams would provide the points.

    Season Averages: 13.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.2 bpg

2. MarShon Brooks, Guard

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    Deron Williams aside, MarShon Brooks has the brightest future of any player on the New Jersey Nets.

    Brooks can shoot, handle the ball and even facilitate when Deron Williams decides to move freely. He's also an underrated defender who averages greater than a steal per contest.

    While he's not a Rookie of the Year candidate just yet, a second half outburst shouldn't surprise anyone. Nor should his potential rise to stardom.

    That's something the Nets must maximize, not trade.

    Season Averages: 13.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg

1. Deron Williams, Point Guard

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    Did you really expect to see anyone else?

    D-Will has been an elite player throughout the entirety of his career. In New Jersey, he's finally getting the recognition he deserves.

    While many speculate that Williams will leave the Nets should they fail to acquire Dwight Howard, I'm of the minority who feel he's destined to stay. He is the face of a franchise heading to a major city, as well as the centerpiece of what could potentially be the New York Knicks' fiercest rivalry.

    As a New Yorker, I'm quite familiar with the pride of those from Brooklyn. I'm also one of those who are proud to hail from Manhattan. When those two boroughs collide four times a season, each will be searching for a leader.

    Deron Williams, welcome to Metropolis.

    Season Averages: 22.6 ppg, 8.2 apg, 3.5 rpg, 1.1 spg

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