Why the New Jersey Nets should be interested in Kristaps Porzingis

By Bryan Thomas – NJ.com Sports ReporterThe New Jersey Devils have been looking for a spark since the trade deadline, but the Nets have yet to find one.

On Tuesday, ESPN’s Ken Whisenhunt reported that the Nets were considering a potential trade involving the 20-year-old power forward, but he added that the move wouldn’t happen until the Nets’ June 2 deadline to add players.

This has led to speculation on social media that the team could be considering a Porzingys return to New Jersey in exchange for another star player in Brooklyn, or even that Porzinges’ current contract with the Nets would be automatically extended.

But with the signing of free agent wing Andrei Kirilenko and the addition of the young and inexperienced DeMarre Carroll, there is more to the situation than meets the eye.

While the team is still considering the trade that would send Porzingises, there have been some indications that the decision could be made sooner than the team initially envisioned.

One of the biggest hurdles the Nets face is acquiring a veteran leader in the frontcourt, and the team may have an opportunity to do so by landing a big name on a long-term deal.

Porzingis’ contract with New Jersey expires at the end of this season, but his agent, Donnie Walsh, told ESPN.com that the star forward will likely have a new deal after this season and would be willing to sign a new one in the offseason.

Kirilenko, a two-time All-Star, is also a free agent this summer, and while he is expected to opt out of his contract with Detroit, there has been some chatter that he could be traded in the future.

The two sides have reportedly been in negotiations since last week, and according to ESPN.co.uk, both sides believe they will be able to come to an agreement this summer.

While that would leave the team with $23 million in salary cap space to spend in free agency, there are a number of questions surrounding the Nets ability to compete without Porzingas.

As for what the team will do with their $21.5 million roster spot, the Nets could use it to fill some holes in the backcourt, with the team currently lacking three-point shooters and shooting guards.

In fact, the only position where the team has significant question marks is the front court.

The team has yet to address the issue of who will be the backup point guard to rookie Jayson Tatum, and Porzingias shooting could be the biggest reason for the team’s struggles on the defensive end.

The Nets have been ranked No. 13 in defensive rating, and they have allowed an average of 115.2 points per 100 possessions with Porzingistas on the floor, according to NBA.com.

However, that number has dropped significantly in recent games, with opponents shooting 43.2 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three-pointers.

The question is whether or not the Nets are going to have enough offensive firepower to compete with the league’s top teams, and there is still time for them to make a move.

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