The NBA trade season is upon us as December 15th will mark a key date when many players signed in free agency are eligible to be traded.

While Brooklyn Nets fans continue to wait for any updates at all regarding the status of Kyrie Irving, it doesn't make sense to expect any imminent change there. As such, the roster GM Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash thought they'd be dealing with has a maximum-salaried, All-NBA hole on the books, one the Nets are trying to fill with bit players and joureymen.

Brooklyn is still first in the Eastern Conference at 17-8, a great job considering all of the setbacks its faced in the season's early going. But if they want to win a title, the Nets may not feel content with their current roster.

Here are three players the Nets should target in trades before the deadline to make in-season deals comes and goes on February 10th.

Indiana Pacers wing Justin Holiday

With Irving nowhere in sight and Joe Harris recovering from ankle surgery, the Nets could use a player who can play both ends of the floor. They've turned to a combination of Jevon Carter, Cam Thomas, Bruce Brown and DeAndre' Bembry, but those names can't really be expected to produce on both ends of the floor consistently versus top opponents.

Thomas can score, but the rookie is not a plus defender at this point in his career. Bembry is a menace on D, but teams leave him open to go double Kevin Durant.

Every team wants a player who can defend and space the floor on offense, making them difficult to find at an affordable price. They don't need a marksman like Patty Mills or Harris here. But even a player like the newly-rebuilding Indiana Pacers' swingman Justin Holiday would be a big lift to Steve Nash's rotation.

Holiday averages 9.9 points per game, but is a very willing shooter. He shoots at a 36% clip from distance on over six tries per game. Holiday is a willing defender who won't sacrifice spacing on the other end, and the Nets could do worse for the $6 million he earns annually.

If Indiana is having a firesale, he is just one of several Pacers the Nets should call about.

Portland Trailblazers versatile big Larry Nance Jr.

Larry Nance Jr. was beloved in Cleveland where his father played. He's one of the more explosive bigs in the league, but he's in Portland now where things feel very unstable.

The Blazers recently fired long-tenured GM Neil Olshey. They hired Chauncey Billups as head coach, but the former Detroit Pistons guard hasn't dramatically changed their trajectory yet. Lehigh product CJ McCollum just suffered a punctured lung and superstar Damian Lillard seems to deny rumors he'd like a trade every other week. It feels more a matter of if, not when, that Portland looks towards the future.

Nance has at times spaced the floor, but at just 32% from three teams can't rely on him for high-volume long-range shooting. But when healthy he's been the type of player all teams want. He offers some rebounding, some rim protection and he can get behind a defense and roll to the rim for the lob. At least he's been a somewhat willing three-point shooter, too, something not a ton of veteran bigs can say.

Nance is more experienced and well-rounded than Nic Claxton. He's more athletic than LaMarcus Aldridge. With Blake Griffin falling out of favor, he'd be a big boost to Brooklyn's frontcourt rotation. Finally, Nance loves to grind, so he would fit right in with the Nets Blue Collar Boys club.

Philadelphia 76ers point forward Ben Simmons

These lists are no fun without at least one blockbuster, and we're not about to suggest the Nets trade James Harden despite him being headed for unrestricted free agency. That leaves us the one trade many have proposed for its elegance, one that addresses huge problems held by the two biggest stalemates in the NBA. Most reports indicate there is no interest on the part of the Philadelphia 76ers for this, but things can change in a New York minute, and that probably applies to Philadephia 76ers, too.

Ben Simmons (not yet mentally ready to play, seeking trade) made one of the three All-NBA teams in 2020 and was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year last season. He's not the player Irving is, but he's a three-time All-Star and two time First Team All-Defense honoree at 25 years old, signed for the next three seasons. If the Nets were truly worried that Irving wasn't coming back and would leave in free agency for a city without vaccine mandates, they could do a lot worse than having one of the NBA's most unselfish players and versatile defenders on the books overlapping with Kevin Durant's contract.

The Nets already have the seventh-best defensive rating in the NBA. Adding Simmons could vault them much higher defensively while still fielding two of the best offensive players on the planet. He'd likely be replacing some non-shooters in their current rotation anyway, so introducing him wouldn't necessarily blow up the composition of their attack. He's never had the chance to play with pull-up threats like Harden and Durant, which might unlock his roll game. Simmons could be matched up against a player like Jimmy Butler, Khris Middleton or at times even Giannis Antetokounmpo in marquee playoff battles, too.

No singular trade is ever likely. But these are three types of trades the Nets should be considering. They could use a 3-and-D wing, some more juice in the frontcourt and of course a resolution of some kind to their Kyrie situation.