Free agent big man Jason Collins, 35, could soon ink a deal with the Brooklyn Nets, which would make him the NBA’s first openly gay (active) player. Per the NY Post:

Nets general manager Billy King confirmed Thursday afternoon the Nets have worked out free agent center Jason Collins, and he could potentially be signed by the team to fill its need for a reliable defensive presence in the paint.

“We’re going to look at anybody that’s a free agent that’s big that’s out there,” King said on a conference call with reporters following Thursday’s trade deadline. “We’re going to look at anybody that’s in the D-League that’s big, we’re going to look at anybody coming back from China. We’ll explore all of them.

“Jason Collins is a free agent and he’s out there, so obviously he’ll be included in the list.”

Collins, who famously came out in an article in Sports Illustrated last (April) and would be the first openly gay athlete to compete in one the four major professional American sports, hasn’t been signed by anyone this season, and has been staying in shape in California, where the Nets worked him out recently.

But King said if the Nets choose to sign Collins, who also is reportedly drawing interest from the Clippers, it wouldn’t be for the publicity or marketing potential that would come with such a decision. It would instead hinge on whether Collins would be able to help them on the court.