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With few assets and no GM, Nets trade picture at best muddled

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It's now less than a week before the tradeline -- next Thursday, 3 p.m. -- and while there are some rumors and more speculation, it seems unlikely the Nets will make a big deal.  A small deal, perhaps a salary dump to free up a roster spot, is always possible, but the big deal remains elusive.

There are all the usual reasons why: the Nets brass would rather hang on to their big assets, Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young; the Nets have few assets to entice a team to give up a big name and the team isn't likely to have a GM in place until very close to the deadline.

As Brian Lewis writes, "Sources told The Post that Brooklyn isn’t expected to hire a GM until early next week, and with so little time before next Thursday’s trade deadline, no major deals are likely to be made."

We chronicled the few rumors out there Thursday, most centered on Thaddeus Young, but Prokhorov said last month that he likes Young as part of a core that could attract free agents this summer, and Howard Beck tweeted Wednesday night that's what he's telling GM candidates as well. Moreover, league sources say a GM, particularly one who's not been top guy before, is likely to want to take a look at the roster as well as the locker room before doing into deal mode.

Meanwhile, as part of a 30-team survey, Bradford Doolittle, who called the Nets roster "putrid" last summer, speculates on what the Nets could do ... if they wanted.  He proposes four trades that essentially break down this way: Brook Lopez for 1) Greg Monroe and Michael Carter-Williams of the Bucks,both of whom have been disappointing;  2) Marcus Smart, David Lee and a pick, but not a Nets pick, of the Celtics; 3) free agent Hassan Whiteside and maybe something else: or Young for Patrick Patterson, Delon Wright or another young player off the Raptors roster.

Doolittle also suggests the Nets could deal Thomas Robinson to a contender for a second round pick (although the Nets already have a pick in this year's second round and are intent on buying more with the $3.5 million in cash.) As for Joe Johnson, he doesn't expect a trade, but does think he could be waived between the deadline and March 1.