Josh Smith, Ben Gordon out? Paul Millsap... In?

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Mitch Lawrence of the Daily News just made some eager Nets fans pretty happy, noting in his column this afternoon that a league source told him that it's seeming more and more likely that the Nets are out of the running for both Josh Smith and Ben Gordon, noting that they will now turn their sights on trying to get Paul Millsap from the Utah Jazz.

It's a name that we've heard rumored to be moved -- and rumored to be desired by the Nets -- for some time now, considering that Millsap is on the final year of his deal and he is not likely to be re-upped by Utah, due to the number of young, promising bigs already on their roster.

Lawrence notes:

Still, the Nets are focusing on Utah's Paul Millsap or another power forward to add by the trading deadline. The Nets and Jazz have been trading partners in the past, highlighted by the Nets' bold move to get Williams at the 2011 mid-season deadline. But King also insists he hasn't given up on this group.

Millsap, who played alongside Deron Williams in Utah, would serve as the offensively gifted pick-and-roll partner the Nets have been looking for at the power forward position.

Again, it's a matter of whether or not the Nets have the assets the Jazz are looking for. Of course Kris Humphries would likely be involved in any deal, but he also has an extra year at $12 million left on his contract. Do the Jazz want to take back that kind of money beyond this year? Does a third team need to be involved? Probably.

Lawrence also noted that Nets' GM Billy King said that he isn't going to "make a trade just to make a trade," and that he thinks this team, as constructed, can "regroup and play well."

[Note: For fun, I asked my buddy Amar who heads up SLC Dunk, the SB Nation Utah Jazz blog, what Utah would want in exchange for Paul Millsap. Here is his response...]

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