With the NBA trade deadline approaching on Feb. 21, Billy King will certainly work the phones in an attempt to improve the Nets. A quick glance at the roster and the glaring need resides at the power forward position.
The Nets have been rumored players for the services of either Atlanta's Josh Smith or Utah's Paul Millsap. Both are power forwards on the trading block. Undoubtedly, King has the phone numbers of both general managers.
There are likely more available forwards as well. When the Nets acquired Deron Williams, the move came as a surprise to everyone, including Williams who learned about it on television like the rest of the public.
Smith, Millsap, Nene, Andrea Bargnani, and others not as publicly shopped will come across King's radar, but Millsap makes the most sense.
Millsap is more cerebral and hard-nosed than players like Smith and Bargnani. He's also a much healthier option than the oft-injured Nene. Millsap's style fits what P.J. Carlesimo is currently attempting to get from two players in Reggie Evans and Kris Humphries.
Millsap averages 14.9 ppg and 7.3 rpg. In Millsap's favor is his free-throw shooting ability. The Jazz forward is having a down year from the line, shooting 74.4 percent. He totaled 79.2 percent in 2011-12 and 75.5 percent in 2010-11.
Smith, although far more athletic, is a liability from the free-throw (50.2 percent this year) line and not as efficient on the offensive end. Smith has allowed that enticing three-point shot to creep back into his arsenal.
And while Smith is the better all-around player, Millsap is the better fit in Brooklyn.
The Nets already boast a lineup of players content to dominate the ball. They don't need another one.
Millsap is a solid, if not spectacular, role player. He fits in the same mold as a Gerald Wallace.
This Nets team belongs to Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson, and Williams. A player affectionately nicknamed J-Smoove, who is also seeking a max contract during the off-season, will not accept a secondary role.
Locker-room chemistry is already an issue in the Barclays Center. By bringing in Millsap, the Nets are receiving a player who thrived with Williams when the two played together in Utah. The chemistry makes for a logical fit.
Even more logical is the price likely required to acquire him. With the Jazz boasting an overabundance of power forwards, and Millsap in the last year of his contract, the Nets can acquire the forward for less than the going rate.
Utah needs to move one of their forwards, be it Al Jefferson or Millsap. Based on their offensive design, Millsap seems the more likely candidate. Former Net Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter also wait in the wings.
The Nets might have the opportunity to pry Millsap from the Jazz for little more than Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and a draft pick or two. Although Brooks displays promise, neither Carlesimo or his predecessor Avery Johnson were enamored with his particular skillset.
Brooks flashes offensive brilliance but often fails to utilize his length on defense. If given the opportunity, the Nets will go to Keith Bogans for his defensive prowess.
Helping the Nets' cause is the Jazz's dearth of quality starting guards. Jamaal Tinsley and Randy Foye started in the backcourt for the Jazz in its 109-94 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night.
In the same game, Millsap nearly notched a triple-double by collecting 18 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
If not in a contract year, Millsap would not leave Utah. The Nets could use his uncertain future to their advantage as the playoffs near.