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The Nets must be smart with trade options

Marcus Henry | 4/12/2011, 4:46 p.m.

With all the talk about the Knicks attempting to trade for Carmelo Anthony and other teams trying to make moves to solidify a playoff run, where do the Nets stands?

Losers of three straight, the Nets, who hosted New Orleans last night (Wednesday), could certainly use an infusion of talent. You have to wonder if trading for a big contract is the right move at this point.

The Nets have five first-round draft picks over the next two seasons and cap space. Typically that combination leads to a team making a major move or two in the off season.

The Nets are in a bit of bind, though. Few free agents, if any, want to sign with the Nets. You don't have to go back too far to realize that truth. The Nets have made offers, including last summer for LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Carlos Boozer, but the elite free agents of the league just won't bite.

Even Anthony seems reluctant to sign with the Nets. But he did credit Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov for putting his foot down and ending the Denver Nuggets-Anthony-Nets trade circus.

"I think he really did it more for his team," Anthony said after his team lost to the Nets last week. "Ever since he made that statement, they've been playing hard. They seem like they're committed and as a result they beat us tonight."

It still makes you wonder how handcuffed the Nets will be in the off season. They have a lot of chips to use in a trade, maybe more than any team in the league. But they still have to convince the best available free agents-to-be that coming to New Jersey is the best thing.

The move to Brooklyn just can't come fast enough.