Tag:New Jersey Nets
Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:36 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 11:12 pm
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Jazz trade Mehmet Okur to Nets for draft pick

Posted by Ben Gollivermehmet-okur

The New Jersey Nets wasted no time plugging the hole created when starting center Brook Lopez went down with a broken foot earlier Thursday.

The Utah Jazz announced in a statement that the team has traded center Mehmet Okur to the Nets in exchange for a future second-round draft pick.
Utah Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor announced today that the team has acquired a future second-round draft pick and a trade exception from the New Jersey Nets in exchange for center Mehmet Okur.

Entering his 10th NBA season, Okur (6-11, 265, Yalova, Turkey), appeared in 13 games (no starts) for the Jazz during the 2010-11 campaign, averaging 4.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.9 minutes per game. The 2007 NBA All-Star holds career averages of 13.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 617 career games (446 starts) with Detroit and Utah. Okur, who joined the Jazz prior to the 2004-05 season, departs the team ranking fourth on the franchise’s all-time list for three-pointers made (517), fifth for three-pointers attempted (1,358), and ninth in scoring (7,255), rebounding (3,599) and blocked shots (346).

ESPN.com reported that the draft pick is a 2015 second rounder.

A back injury ended Okur's 2010-2011 season in March and he reportedly considered retirement before opting to return to Utah to play out the final year of his contract. Okur is on the books in 2011-2012 for $10.9 million, meaning the Jazz acquire a trade exception for that value in this move.

Okur had been part of a very deep frontcourt in Utah, which also included veteran big man Al Jefferson, power forward Paul Millsap, second-year power forward Derrick Favors and 2011 first round pick Enes Kanter. There clearly weren't enough minutes to go around and Okur, 32, is well past his best days. His departure should open up playing time for Favors and Kanter, who represent Utah's future.

New Jersey, meanwhile, couldn't have a bigger need. With Lopez expected to be sidelined for more than a month, their frontline rotation included the likes of Kris Humphries, Johan Petro and rookie forward Jordan Williams. Good luck with that. Okur isn't a franchise-altering addition by any means but he has a familiarity with All-Star point guard Deron Williams, can knock down a face-up shot, doesn't require a long-term salary commitment and was essentially acquired for no cost other than his salary.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 7:20 pm
 

2011-2012 Atlantic Division Preview



By Matt Moore


We're less than a week away from the start of the 2011-2012 NBA season. After an interminable lockout and a rushed free agency period, here's a first look division-by-division preview at how the league is shaping up. We finish with the Atlantic Division.

2011 Standings:
Boston Celtics, 56-26, lost second round of Eastern Conference Playoffs to Heat, 4-1
New York Knicks, 42-40, lost first round of Eastern Confernce Playoffs to Celtics, 4-0
Philadelphia 76ers, 41-41, lost first round of Eastern Conference Playoffs to Heat, 4-1
New Jersey Nets, 24-58, NBA Lottery
Toronto Raptors, 22-60, NBA Lottery

Best team: Boston Celtics

One more year. That's what the Celtics get. One more year to rule the roost. The Celtics have one more ride left with this core and then it's a sail off into the sunset while the team tries to figure out how to rebuild around Rajon Rondo. But with the extra time off, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce should be in good shape to make one more run at a title in order to validate themselves as one of the truly great teams of this era. (Pierce is already questionable for Sunday's opener vs. the Knicks.)

Without a second title, the Celtics have to be considered a disappointment. Winning a championship is supposed to validate everything, yet the Celtics were supposed to win multiple titles when the Big 3 formed. Good enough for the rest of the league is not good enough for the Celtics. But injuries and then a slow fade has denied them, as well as improvements in star power for the Heat and Lakers. The Celtics are still a dominant team, built around defense and reliable offensive weaponry. Their veteran experience helps them dismantle younger teams and their toughness helps them outlast weaker, more explosive teams.

But there's no stopping age, and this team is at the end of its run. They've got once chance, with a phenomenally weak bench, tougher competition, and continuing injury issues to try and surprise everyone and go out on top. One more chance to ride off into the sunset. Saddle up.

Worst team: Toronto Raptors

The Nets are hanging above this spot by a thread. A thin thread. A very, very thin thread. They have questions at every position except point guard and coach Avery Johnson has not taken the team by storm. But Deron Williams and the possibility of getting Dwight Howard keeps them out of the bottom.

We know who the Raptors are. They don't rebound. They don't defend. They struggle with toughness. They don't have a star. They don't have any complete offensive players. But there's reason to believe they might shake this bottom spot. Dwane Casey comes from Dallas with a determination to change the culture defensively. DeMar DeRozan has the chance to take the next step. Ed Davis looks like a beast in the making. There are good players on this roster. Unfortunately, everything hinges on everyone's least favorite Raptor, Andrea Bargnani. The fans are done with Bargnani for his lack of defense and rebounding. Unless he comes out dominant in the paint, he'll continue to be the object of scorn. With no real center on the roster (Jamal Magloire is starting), it's hard to see any real improvement for the Raps. They'll likely be at the bottom of the division, but there's always a chance they can surprise.

Biggest surprise: New York Knicks

The Knicks are going to surprise one way or another. Because if they fail to secure a top-five pick this season, it will be a letdown. Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire, and Tyson Chandler can't make a top-four seed? And if they do make a top-four seed, it means that the Knicks have started to play defense, which is a stunner all its own.

The Knicks are at once a title contender and a non-factor in the Eastern Conference. It's just a matter of which side of the Hudson you're on. Melo is either going to be an MVP candidate, or fail miserably at point forward. Tyson Chandler is either going to make all the difference, or be an injury-prone non-factor who can't cover for all the other weaknesses. There's little in-between. But the Knicks in a full season together with a better combination of talent should take a step forward. This is a super-team that has not been built with a clean carving. It's rough, it's wild, and it operates for the most inventive head coach in the league. The Knicks may wind up exactly where they were last season.

But the ride should be full of surprises for someone, anyway.

Three Best Players: Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett, Amar'e Stoudemire

I couldn't win here. I left off Carmelo Anthony, which is going to drive Knicks fans batty. I included Amar'e Stoudemire, which is going to light the fires on half the people who read this. I excluded Ray Allen, the best pure shooter in the league. Paul Pierce isn't on here despite being the clutchest of the clutch. Kevin Garnett's on here, and some people think he's past the point of no return. Andre Iguodala is one of the best all-around players in the league and he's not even close to being on here. Deron Williams' team may win 20 games this season and he's on here. And Andrea Bargnani... no. Andrea Bargnani would not be on here. But the point is this division is long on players with top level ability. There are seven to eight names you can put on here as "the best."

Biggest Question: Can the Knicks gel?

Putting together a three-headed monster all in the frontcourt is a risky proposition. There's not a player to bind it all together. No creator. The absence of a viable point guard for the Knicks, at least until Baron Davis gets healthy, means that the frontcourt has to run an offense itself. It's like asking a plane to fly itself without navigation. The Knicks were up and down all season, including during the stretch with Melo and STAT, mostly on account of not knowing how to work with one another. But with one being a high-usage small forward and the other being a high-usage power forward, can they work together? Is this a combination of players that makes sense?

The Knicks can win with this group because stars win games. But can they win the big games, can they make the jump to an elite team? More importantly, can they establish an identity going forward? The Knicks have tossed together two of the best players in the game and then added one of the best big men in terms of rebounding and defense out there. But can talent alone spell greatness? And if not... what does that mean for Mike D'Antoni?

2012 Projected Standings:
1. Boston Celtics
2. New York Knicks
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. New Jersey Nets
5. Toronto Raptors
Posted on: December 22, 2011 3:48 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 3:52 pm
 

Report: Nets sign DeShawn Stevenson

Posted by Ben Golliverdeshawn-dal

The NBA's king of smack talk is headed to the Jersey Shore.

ESPNNY.com reports that free agent guard DeShawn Stevenson has agreed to a 1-year contract with the New Jersey Nets for a reported $2.5 million.

He plugs into a Nets roster that is fairly talentless on the wings. Anthony Morrow and rookie MarSon Brooks got the bulk of the minutes alongside All-Star point guard Deron Williams during the preseason.

Stevenson, 30, spent the 2010-2011 season with the NBA title-winning Dallas Mavericks. A physical, aggressive defender, Stevenson played mental games with Miami Heat All-Star forward LeBron James throughout the Finals, saying that James "checked out" at times during the series. Following the Finals, Stevenson wore a t-shirt that read "LeBron, how's my Dirk taste?" and was arrested for public intoxication

An 11-year NBA veteran, Stevenson has career averages of 7.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. Prior to landing in Dallas, Stevenson played for the Utah Jazz, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards.

Stevenson becomes the fourth prominent member of the 2011 Mavericks to find a new home this offseason. Center Tyson Chandler signed with the New York Knicks, guard J.J. Barea signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves and forward Caron Butler signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 3:40 pm
 

Lopez' injury puts Dwight deal in more jeopardy


By Matt Moore

The New Jersey Nets announced Thursday that center Brook Lopez has a broken foot and will undergo surgery. His listed recovery time is 4-6 weeks, but the injury is also similar to the one that sidelined Mavs' guard Roddy Beaubois for months and which SI.com says doctors have said can take up to 4 months to heal. 

So no, this is not good news.

But as bad as it is for Lopez, it also has huge ramifications for the Nets and their pursuit of Dwight Howard. Lopez was the centerpiece of any trade to Orlando, giving the Magic a young center to at least take the sting off losing the league's best big man. At 4-6 weeks, there's time for Lopez to recover and get back on the floor to show himself still worth the Magic's investment (I'm sure that's No.1 on his list of priorities). But that assumes his surgery goes perfectly, his recovery is without flaw, and that his return has no issues.

At that point, the Nets may be one of the worst teams in the league. Howard will be staring at going to a team he'd have to claw out of the cellar alongside Deron Williams with, after having had to likely give up even more assets to account for the instability of Lopez' situation. While Howard would be looking at the big picture with regards to playing in Brooklyn the next six seasons, these superstars want to win now, every year, and don't want to risk missing the playoffs even a single season. The Magic would be then trading for a seven-foot center with a foot injury, which hasn't gone well in the history of the NBA. That damages the Nets' leverage in the package they'd have to give up, which would mean Howard would be giving his commitment to a team with nearly nothing on roster outside of Deron Williams.

Which isn't wholly different from what Carmelo Anthony did. But the Knicks were at least in playoff position at the time of the trade. Without Lopez, we see more of Johan Petro. The Nets' frontcourt, even with productive big man Kris Humphries, is going to be a near-disaster. Deron Williams is one of the top five point guards in the league, but there are limits to what even he can do.

Lopez meanwhile is faced with the balance of wanting to compete and do his job, wanting to get back on the floor as quickly as possible, and leveraging that against his long-term health. Throw in how the Nets have treated him for the past year, both in terms of his relationship with Avery Johnson and in his inecessant involvement in trade rumors, and Lopez will be rushing back from a serious injury to help a team that is clearly not invested in his future. Maybe he pushes himself just to get out of the situation, but it's not an unpleasant one, and that's before you deal with the mental and physical damage from undergoing this kind of injury process.

The Nets still have a chance at pulling off the trade which would set them up long-term in the future. But after making a huge gamble in trading for Deron Williams last season and surrendering nearly half their talent base, the Lopez injury makes the odds even worse. There's really only two ways this works out. The Nets pull of a miracle trade for Dwight Howard because he simply wants to play in Brooklyn that much, or they lose everything.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum looked spectacular in preseason play Wednesday night.
Posted on: December 20, 2011 3:58 pm
Edited on: December 20, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Humphries signs one-year deal with Nets

Posted by Royce Young

The Nets are close to finalizing a one-year deal worth somewhere in the $7-8 million neighborhood for power forward Kris Humphries, according to Yahoo! Sports with confirmation from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.

I think we all just said, "$8 million for Kris Humphries? That sounds steep." But think about it this way: Humphries initially saw himself as a $10 million a year guy, and for good reason. Humphries finished last year as a double-double machine, averaging 10.0 points and 10.4 rebounds per game starting for the Nets. Per minute, Humphries was one of the top rebounders in the entire league and finished with an above-average PER of 17.89.

But nobody on the market wanted to dish out that kind of money -- keep in mind, David West got $10 million a year -- for a guy that's largely an energy player. The Nets though needed him badly, especially considering that their current starting 4 is Johan Petro. So while $8 million is a lot for Humphries, it's not that much to the Nets. If that makes sense. They had a serious need for him.

And it's only for a season. The Nets maintain financial flexibility for next summer when Deron Williams, along with Dwight Howard, are free agents. The Nets have said before they want Humphries to be part of their long-term plans, but likly couldn't come to an agreement for multiple years in the $5-7 million range. So they compromised with more money for less years.

Keep in mind, Kwame Brown got $7 million a year for a season in Golden State. That's the market we're looking at here. People overpay for good big men. It's just life in the NBA.

Also: This is where a Kim Kardashian joke is supposed to go.
Posted on: December 17, 2011 11:55 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 6:59 pm
 

Lakers sign Murphy, Kings claim Outlaw

By Matt Moore

The Los Angeles Laker s signed forward Troy Murphy Saturday to bolster their frontcourt bench left weakened by the trade of Lamar Odom to the Dallas Mavericks. Murphy, 31, was bought out by the Nets last spring and signed with the Boston Celtics in what was thought at the time to be a shrewd move to potentially put the Celtics over the championship hump. Instead, Murphy underperformed and played limited minutes due to injury, and played just one game for three minutes in the postseason. 

If healthy, Murphy could help the Lakers as a do-it-all veteran with savvy. If out of his depth and still hampered by injuries, he is unlikely to make much of an impact even on a team facing significant problems past its starting front line.

****************

The Sacramento Kings claimed forward Travis Outlaw off the amnesty wire Saturday. Outlaw had a massively disapponting first year in New Jersey after signing a five-year, $35 million contract in 2010. The Kings have faced a serious absence at the small forward position since trading Omri Casspi last spring. John Salmons can spend time there but is under-sized.

Under amnesty rules, the Kings were allowed to claim Outlaw because of their cap space (only teams with cap space can bid), and their bid will count against their cap while the remainder will be paid by New Jersey and will not count against their cap. Outlaw played significantly better in Portland and maybe a return to the west coast will improve his play. Outlaw had wrist surgery this summer but has been cleared for contact according to SI.com. 
Posted on: December 15, 2011 6:54 pm
 

Nets use amnesty clause on Travis Outlaw

By Matt Moore

Thirty-five million dollars.

That's the amount of money the New Jesey Nets just wiped off their cap space today by using the amnesty clause provided by the  new Collective Bargaining Agreement to waive Travis Outlaw. The Nets are free to unwisely spend their money again.

Outlaw will still make all $35 million dollars, it just won't be applied to New Jersey's cap. And in doing so, the Nets clear more space to take on a big contract, like, oh, I don't know, just off the top of my head, Hedo Turkoglu

Outlaw was brought in as part of the Nets' efforts last summer to spend their way into victories after having whiffed on every major free agent on the market. They had tons of cap space and nowhere to go with it, so they gave money to Anthony Morrow, Outlaw, and Jordan Farmar, along with the most egregious deal, Johan Petro's 3-year, $10 million deal. Outlaw was the bigger drain, though, as he absolutely bottomed out, posting a career low in field goal percentage and PER (a dismal 8.8). 

It was also revealed that Outlaw has a broken right hand, which will likely delay his signing by any team in particular for a while. He will likely clear waivers and be an unrestricted free agent.  
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:11 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2011 10:17 pm
 

Nuggets re-sign Nene Hilario 5 years, $67 million

Posted by Ben Gollivernene-hilario

After talking a big game about walking out of town, free agent center Nene Hilario has reportedly chosen to stay with the Denver Nuggets.

ESPN.com reports that Nene has inked a 5-year, $67 million extension with the Nuggets, who desperately needed to retain him. The New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets were among his most aggressive pursuers after he opted out of the final year of his previous contract to test the free agency waters last summer.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com confirms the signing, noting that "Nuggets GM Masai Ujiri met Monday night with Nene and representatives, one of three or four meetings the team had with its UFA to close deal."

Nene was ranked as the No. 1 overall free agent in the CBSSports.com's Eye On Basketball top-40 rankings in June. His contract surpasses the 4-years, $55 million given by the Memphis Grizzlies to re-sign restricted free agent center Marc Gasol4-years, $58 million given to Tyson Chandler by the New York Knicks. Gasol was ranked No. 2 in the top-40; Chandler was ranked No. 4.

Retaining Nene ensures that Denver has a fighting chance, as his departure would have created a hole that couldn't have immediately been filled just months after the Nuggets lost multiple free agents to no opt-out deals in China.
 
Nene, 29, is a 9-year NBA veteran who has spent his entire career with Denver. He posted averages of 14.5 points and 7.6 rebounds in 75 games last season, shooting an NBA-best 61.5 percent from the field.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com