If there was a player on the block at the deadline -- Paul Pierce, Josh Smith, Paul Millsap, Ersan ilyasova, Ben Gordon - its likely the Nets offered them Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and a first-round pick. However, none of them bit the Nets' trade deadline package -- HBAP, as it became affectionately known -- died Thursday. Tom Ziller wrote HBAP's obituary:
HBAP was born in Brooklyn in January 2013 to doting fathers Billy King, of Sterling, Va., and Mikhail Prokhorov, of Russia. She lived a brief but meteoric life, but sadly captured the interest of no one. She had a brief fling with Josh Smith and another with Paul Pierce, but never married.
It's not the worst thing. Humphries is still a talented rebounder, Brooks showed flashes in his first year, averaging double digits, and a first rounder could turn into something good. But any of the players listed above would have brought immediate improvements to the Nets -- they're all certainly better than Humphries -- and Brooks doesn't play much. That's important in a year the Nets want to take the Atlantic Division and do some damage in the playoffs.
But the real hurt comes this offseason. With hype that the team wants to make a play for Dwight Howard, Humphries' $12 million salary remains on the Nets' payroll, making him one of five players set to make more than $10 million next season. That makes them extremely inflexible, and that's why their inability to make a play this year hurts.
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