Evans Clinchy
Thursday March 15th, 2012

The NBA trade deadline is fast approaching, and the dominoes are... well, not falling. Not only is Dwight Howard staying put in Orlando, but now ESPN's Marc Stein says that the New Jersey Nets "absolutely, positively will not move Deron Williams." In fact, they've already rejected the L.A. Lakers' offer of Pau Gasol for D-Will straight up.

Sources told Stein that the Lakers offered Gasol to the Nets for Williams back in December and were rejected. If they make another offer in the next two hours, they will again be turned down.

Stein reports that while the Nets remain active at the deadline, it's not to acquire a superstar right away -- it's to stockpile smaller trade assets in preparation for making a run at a star around draft time, just before Williams hits free agency on July 1. Williams is averaging a career high of 22.0 points per game this season, plus 8.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds, in the final year of his contract with the Nets. It's been widely speculated that he's eyeing a potential move to the Dallas Mavericks this summer in free agency.

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