GM: Unlikely that Nets will make deal

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King put the likelihood he'll make a deal by Thursday's 3 p.m. ET trade deadline "at probably 10 percent."

"I like to make trades when I think there's a trade to make that can help the team," King said Tuesday. "And I think we're at a point now where this group's gotta play together more than shaking it up and bringing in a bunch of pieces."

Asked if the Nets might add a big name, King replied, "We could (or) we could not."

A week ago, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard that Atlanta Hawks power forward Josh Smith is Brooklyn's top trade target. The Nets also have been linked to Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap and Charlotte Bobcats guard Ben Gordon.

Brooklyn's prime trade assets are power forward Kris Humphries and 24-year-old swingman MarShon Brooks.

King wouldn't specify where the team's weaknesses lie, though they appear to be at power forward. Humphries has had a down season, and Reggie Evans, who has played well in a starting role, is probably better suited to coming off the bench.

The Nets, with a $83.5 million payroll, currently are over the luxury tax, so any move they make could prove costly -- and not just in personnel.

King, who is in the final year of his contract, spent $330 million of owner Mikhail Prokhorov's fortune in the offseason to turn Brooklyn into a playoff contender. The Nets (31-22) head into Tuesday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks with the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.

Prokhorov has said a successful first season in Brooklyn would be defined as a trip to the Eastern Conference finals.

The Nets might have a better record if point guard Deron Williams were playing better. He is averaging just 16.7 points and 7.6 assists on 41.3 percent shooting. He recently missed two games due to inflammation in both ankles, but will return to the lineup Tuesday night.

Williams said Monday that he can't jump and he lacks explosiveness, which has led to him going 0-for-1 on dunk attempts this season.

Asked if his point guard's comments were alarming, King responded: "No. We've won 31 games with that same point guard. I think it may be alarming that he's saying that because he's not the same player that he was last year, but I think he can get back to that. We've said this all year, [his injuries are] something we'll have to manage. We have been able to win games with him playing this way."

King wishes Williams was able to have more rest, but "the schedule doesn't provide that."

"I just think when you get to this part of the season ... when you see the light at the end of the tunnel, the playoffs, guys start to find energy and figure it out," King said.