The Nets have begun shopping around for an upgrade at small forward, but Larry Hughes -- a name they've discussed lately -- isn't someone they consider a particularly good option. He's more like a last resort. The man the Nets have set their sights on (since the start of the week, anyway) is Mike Miller, who has been a washout since arriving in Minneapolis, according to an NBA general manager familiar with the discussions. One snag, perhaps two: The Timberwolves are not in any rush to move the 28-year-old wing, even though Miller averages fewer than eight shots in 30 minutes per game, so they're playing hardball.
Mike Miller makes $9 million this season and $9.7 million the next. The best offer the Nets can make is a deal involving a player with a one-year contract, such as Stromile Swift, just to help the Wolves get Miller -- their second-highest-paid player -- off the cap next season.
According to team officials, there is very little enthusiasm for Hughes, but the Nets might revisit the one-for-one exchange involving Bobby Simmons down the road if nothing better comes along. They believe that Hughes would help them win more games, but he will clog up $3 million more in cap space next year, and he is widely known around the league as a chemistry assassin.
The Nets did their due diligence on Hughes weeks ago, and one instance on March 4 was widely interpreted as telling: Three weeks after he was traded from Cleveland to Chicago, the 11th-year vet essentially said that he'd rather get shots with the Bulls than play in the NBA Finals for the Cavs, as he did the year before.