Are the Nets Poised to Make a Move?

When the Heat and Raptors agreed on a deal sending Jermaine O'Neal to Miami for Shawn Marion on Friday, it kicked off trading deadline week in the NBA. Next Thursday is the last day that teams can make deals, and there figure to be a flurry of moves as teams shape up for the playoffs or try to dump salary in advance of the next two offseasons.

It has long been assumed that the Nets were going to move in the latter direction. Vince Carter could be an interesting addition for a team looking to make a splash, and the Nets have to imagine one of the big-ticket 2010 free agents would enjoy sharing the floor with Devin Harris and Brook Lopez.

G.M. Kiki Vandeweghe was singing a different tune in a recent posting to the team's website brought to our attention by Henry Abbott of True Hoop. While Kiki acknowledged the team's goal of financial flexibility going forward, he also left the door open to move in a different direction.

"We believe that there will be several big-name players made available in the near future. It is important that you continue to stay with a successful game plan. We would not be opposed however, to speeding up our rebuilding process if the right player, for us, became available ... Flexibility is extremely important because you never know when the opportunities will arrive. You also do not know what form they may take, whether they come during the draft or at the trade deadline. Being very aware of league-wide events and being able to capitalize on opportunities is the quickest and surest way to improve."

There have been many rumors circulating about Amare Stoudemire leaving Phoenix, with Chicago considered a leader for his services. The Nets are a game up on Chicago in the standings, and if the Bulls land Stoudemire they'd get a leg up. The Nets could use their willingness to take on money to keep pace or seperate themselves from the other teams battling for the eighth playoff spot.
Another factor in their decision may be the uncertain future of their arena in Brooklyn. The Nets are a much less appealing destination if they remain in East Rutherford, which may make hoarding cap space for free agents a losing strategy. With so many teams looking to shed salary, the Nets might be able to make a splash by going against the grain. It should be an interesting week in New Jersey.  

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