Nets forward Markieff Morris and Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis battle for the...

Nets forward Markieff Morris and Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis battle for the ball during the first half of an NBA game on Monday in Washington. Credit: AP/Nick Wass

WASHINGTON – Could Monday night’s game here against the Wizards be one of the last times we see this group of Nets together?

A few weeks ago, this was not a completely unreasonable question. Starting this Thursday, players who signed contracts over the summer — 74 players in all — are eligible to be traded. On the Nets, that group includes Patty Mills, Kessler Edwards, Markieff Morris, Yuta Watanabe, Edmond Sumner and T.J. Warren.

While there are still a handful of players under trade restrictions, Dec. 15 generally marks the unofficial start to the NBA trade season which ends this year on Feb. 10. Given the mess that the Nets were in at the beginning of the season, it seemed only a few weeks ago that it was almost a fait accompli that the Nets would attempt to blow up the team before the trading deadline.

And then this happened: The Nets started playing together as a team.

The Nets entered Monday with a 16-12 record, having won seven of their last eight and 10 of their last 13. Over that 13-game stretch since Nov. 16, the Nets have gone from 12th place in the Eastern Conference to fourth.

The Nets were built to be a contender, not a fourth-place squad. Still, it’s getting harder and harder to remain in the blow-the-whole-thing-up camp.

While Kevin Durant’s value will never be higher than it is today, he is having another MVP-caliber season and seems committed to try to make something happen here. Only now are we starting to see what can happen with a healthy Durant, Ben Simmons and a healthy and available Kyrie Irving.

It might be time to stop thinking teardown and start thinking tweak.

Yes, general manager Sean Marks could make some tweaks. The Nets’ biggest need is a decent center to backup Nic Claxton. Markieff Morris lacks the agility and Day’Ron Sharpe is too inexperienced. Beyond that, the Nets could use another shooter to spread the floor. But, then again, who couldn’t?

Nets coach Jacque Vaughn, who took over as coach for Steve Nash when the team was 2-5, doesn’t know what the future holds for his team or, for that matter, who will be on it. Yet, he agreed before Monday’s game that his team seems to have turned a corner.

“I think we’ve committed ourselves to playing for and with each other,” Vaughn said. “We just asked the guys to play hard. At the end of the day, you can cover up a lot of things by just playing hard. So we’ve taken that approach for most nights, and I’ll continue to talk about the consistency of playing hard. That’s our next challenge.

“But this group has started to learn about each other — the rotations, who plays well with each other on both ends of the floor. So overall I said to the group, this is our group: This is us right now. So each night we come into the game this is us, and we’re going to try to win the ballgame.”

This is us and we’re going to try to win the ballgame. That really hasn’t been the Nets approach in the regular season since Durant and Irving came here talking about winning multiple championships.

For the past two seasons, the Nets always seemed to be looking ahead to the playoffs or lamenting that they were without some injured superstar or, in the case of Irving, an unavailable superstar.

Vaughn’s micro here-and-now approach seems to have pulled the Nets out of a dark hole. It would be a shame not to see how far they can climb.

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