Even though the Brooklyn Nets are fourth in the Eastern Conference standings with a 31-22 record, they will need to make some sort of significant trade acquisition before the Feb. 21 deadline if they want to have a legitimate run through the NBA postseason.

The Nets are looking to add size to their roster and have even been linked to Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith. However, I believe Brooklyn is more interested in acquiring Portland Trail Blazers center/forward J.J. Hickson who will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. It is true that the Nets have been recently reported as being hesitant towards the idea but that does not mean they will not pull the trigger sometime this week.

The 24-year-old is having one of the best first halves of his career as he is averaging 12.7 points, 10.3 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 29.2 minutes per game while converting 56.6 percent of his shots from the floor. He would instantly bring solid production to Brooklyn’s front court where Kris Humphries, one of the Nets trade chips, could be heading out of town.

Hickson has the option to veto any trade to any team because he would be losing his Bird Rights by being traded to the Nets. Bird Rights allows a team to re-sign a player while still exceeding the maximum salary cap. Hickson could make a lot more money by re-signing with Portland but a move to Brooklyn could be an instant opportunity to contend for a NBA championship.