by Marcel Mutoni

Not sure if you’ve heard, but today is the NBA’s trade deadline. And Nets GM Rod Thorn is on the clock; at least, that’s the way rival GMs see it.

As far as the rest of the League’s front offices are concerned, the Nets have little choice but to dump Vince Carter’s large salary. The Star-Ledger has more:

The greatest factor is perception: Every GM in the league ended their business day Wednesday believing that Rod Thorn has no other choice but to go into dump mode, and that he’ll be willing to take back virtually nothing but expiring contracts in exchange for Carter. An ESPN report even quoted two of these executives, each of whom stated that the Nets are trying to “give Carter away.”

Remarkably, Thorn didn’t exactly deny it when asked to comment on that perception, but he gave it his own spin. “I’ve always said you do trades for two reasons,” the Nets president said Wednesday night before the Nets faced the Mavericks. “You do them for the present, or you do them for what’s best moving forward. Those are the only two reasons, as far as I’m concerned.”

Business-wise, it makes sense for the Nets to dump Carter and his massive salary (at age 32, he’s slated to make $33 mil over the next two seasons.) They simply can’t afford him.

Should they pull the trigger, the question will then become, Will the fans understand?