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Are the trade rumors anything more than a simple distraction from what's really ailing the Nets?

Kevin C. Cox

It was almost too fitting that the Josh Smith trade rumor broke just as the Nets were getting ready to blow a 6-point halftime lead to the San Antonio Spurs, who went on to out-score Brooklyn 60-29 in the second half of last night's blowout loss.

The timing was comical.

Because instead of offering up valuable on-the-court solutions to "fixing" this team, we were busy wondering whether or not Smith -- or Paul Millsap -- is attainable, and at what cost. Instead of wondering how it is that a Spurs team without two of their three best players -- Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili -- could come into the Barclays Center and blow out the Nets by 25 points, we were asking if Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks and a draft pick would be enough to entice Atlanta.

There's no doubt that the Nets are looking to improve, but let's say these Smith or Millsap rumors don't come to pass, as they hardly ever do. Then what's the solution for the Nets? What's the real on-the-court solution to turn this team into a noise-maker in the East?

After the game Deron Williams mentioned "trust," while Gerald Wallace said that the team needs to "come together" and not "fight individually" when times are tough. Even Spurs' coach Gregg Popovich offered his two cents, saying they need to give it time to mesh, time to gain each other's trust, work within the system, and so on.

All on-the-court solutions that probably need to be put front and center, as opposed to a trade rumor that by the most current CBA wouldn't even work -- as Devin Kharpertian points out, the Nets can't even take Anthony Morrow back in this "rumored proposal."

The rumors are all well and good, and, look, it may eventually happen that the Nets might find a way to get Smith or Millsap -- more likely Ben Grodon, though -- but the solution can't simply be, "if it's not working, trade for an All-Star talent while giving up nothing in return."

So I open this thread for some solutions; some "as constructed" solutions.

Let's hear 'em, Nets fans. How would you improve this team? What really needs to happen?