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Jim Mancari,

MarShon Brooks

The name “MarShon Brooks” was thrown around the past few days as a prime piece in any trade that involved the Brooklyn Nets.

Well, the NBA trade deadline has passed, and Brooks will still be putting on his No. 9 Nets’ jersey.

Being a second-year player who has shown his potential, naturally he would have been a key component to any trade, especially if a team was to take on Kris Humphries – one of the highest-paid bench players in the league.

But based on that same scoring potential, why were the Nets so eager to move Brooks rather than keep him around, especially as a cheap insurance plan?

Brooks was expected to be a significant contributor off the Nets’ bench this season as the sixth man, but Andray Blatche has thrived in that role. So have veterans Keith Bogans and C.J. Watson, meaning Brooks found himself lower on the depth chart – and has had a few too many DNPs.

But when given the chance, Brooks has done nothing but provide instant offense off the bench. Yes, his defense has yet to develop like his offensive game, but how many second-year players can say that their defense is top-notch? Maybe Iman Shumpert of the Knicks, and that’s it.

For the next four years barring a blockbuster trade, the Nets starting backcourt will be Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Since that’s the case, the Nets were probably thinking that they could use a valuable asset (Brooks) to attempt to acquire an offensive-minded power forward like Josh Smith.

But Williams has been playing banged up all season, and while Watson has filled in nicely, Brooks gives the Nets an offensive jolt off the bench.

Since his minutes have increased under P.J. Carlesimo, Brooks has been productive in his time on the floor. It seems like he’s playing a different amount of minutes every game which has probably affected him trying to get into a rhythm, but he just goes out and does his job without complaining.

Would Josh Smith have been a great pickup for the Nets? Absolutely.

But with the Nets on a four-game winning streak and 11 games over .500 for the first time in seven years, the team has positioned itself for a deep playoff run.

They’re not the Miami Heat right now, and even with Smith, they still wouldn’t be up to par with the Heat. But at least now the Nets were able to hang onto their first-round pick and of course Brooks.

If he continues to get his minutes, Brooks can show the organization why it was a good idea to hang onto him. The Nets are definitely going to need his scoring potential in the second half of the season.

Jim Mancari is a Contributor to Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.

Tags: joe johnson, Brooklyn, Columns, deron williams, trade deadline, iman shumpert, brooks, josh smith, marshon brooks, nets, kris humphries
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