The Brooklyn Nets' inaugural season in Brooklyn has been up and down. On the bright side they are 31-22 and have already surpassed their win total from any of the last three years. They are on pace to win 45 games and maybe secure home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Still, they have been wildly inconsistent at times and Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace have all been varying degrees of underwhelming this season. They look destined to be a middle of the road team, incapable of being a title contender.
As a result several trade rumors have popped up involving the Nets. First it was Josh Smith, then it was Ben Gordon and the latest is Paul Millsap (H/T to Kurt Helin of NBC Pro Basketball Talk).
Obviously adding a Josh Smith, Paul Millsap or even Ben Gordon would improve the Nets' chances of winning the Atlantic Division and maybe even challenge the Miami Heat in the playoffs.
As Helin notes, there is one big problem. The Nets do not have a ton of assets anyone wants. In the Smith rumor they were dangling Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and maybe some draft picks. Brooks is a nice young piece but he is also a shoot first, one dimensional shooting guard. Atlanta has a couple of those already.
As far as Humphries goes, he makes $12 million this year and next and is averaging 5.8 ppg and 6.2 rpg. Why would that appeal to anyone? He did average a double double the last two seasons, which means when he gets minutes he can be productive. But I would not go so far as to say he's worth $12 million a year.
Brooklyn's main problem right now is Brook Lopez is the only guy living up to the contract he signed in the offseason. It is possible they can swing some sort of three-team trade, but for this year at least, I would say they are stuck. Next year is a different story because Humphries' contract is expiring, which makes him much more appealing.
So Nets fans, sit back and enjoy the ride. Maybe Deron Williams and Joe Johnson heat up between now and the playoffs.
Photo: Desert News