--Not only was Kris Humphries pretty sure he was going to re-sign with the Nets, he was also fairly certain that All-Star guard Deron Williams was going to do the same.
Humphries listened to offers from both the Charlotte Bobcats and Cleveland Cavaliers before agreeing to a two-year, $24 million deal with the Nets, his team for most of the last three seasons.
"It's a nature of the business, but I always wanted to be back," he said. "There were a lot of things floated out there and I had to explore other things. But this is where I wanted to be. A lot of things went through my mind, but I wasn't close to making a decision. This all came together at the right time."
Humphries had career-high averages of 13.8 points and 11 rebounds in 62 games last season. It was the second straight season that Humphries averaged double figures in both points and rebounds. He was one of only five NBA players to achieve that feat last season.
Humphries predicted that Williams would return to the Nets as well.
"I told my friends that I knew Deron was coming back," Humphries said. "It had to be a no-brainer for him, to be part of the excitement going to Brooklyn. I think everyone in Brooklyn expects us to be in the playoffs, and the ownership put this good team together.
"I wanted to be back and I wanted this to happen. It's been a vision of the management since I've been here. They knew it was a rebuilding process and had a vision buying into Brooklyn. Everyone had the same vision, and we want to keep the hype going as we move forward. I'm excited to get there."
--Mirza Teletovic had a chance to leave his native Croatia 10 years ago and come to the United States to play college basketball.
"Gonzaga and UConn were interested in me," Teletovic said. "But I was a young guy and I wanted to stay close to home. I've been a pro since I was about 16. That's how they do things in Europe. I didn't want to come to the United States and leave my parents. I had a chance to make money in Belgium, which wasn't far from Croatia. I was honestly a little scared about leaving back then."
Teletovic, the leading scorer in the Euroleague playoffs last year at 21 points per game, knew that he wanted to give the NBA a try. He narrowed down his choices to Cleveland and the Nets before signing a three-year deal with Brooklyn.
"The whole year long, while I was playing in Spain, I knew I wanted to come to play in the NBA," Teletovic said. "I just wanted to find the best team. I told my agent he could talk to Cleveland, but I thought the Nets were the best option, especially after Deron Williams signed. I knew the Nets were the best team, a veteran team that wanted to win. I wanted to play for a team that will try to get a championship. I told my agent Cleveland had a young team, but when Deron decided to stay, it gave the Nets a better chance to compete."
--Nets owner Mikhail Prohkorov is pleased with the roster moves the team has made. He issued a statement saying so.
"I'm thrilled with the way our team has come together. My congratulations and appreciation go out to general manager Billy King, assistant general manager Bobby Marks and head coach Avery Johnson for their tenacity, nerve and heart throughout this process. With the re-signing of Deron Williams and the trade for Joe Johnson, we go into our new home led by an All-Star backcourt and with every hope of a great season for the Brooklyn Nets. I can't wait until opening night," the statement read.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We have a lot of great parts now. We want to be a playoff team. I've been a part of this team through the whole process of first going to Newark and now to Brooklyn. I'm excited to get things going in Brooklyn. I'm willing to accept whatever my role is. I want to win and I want to be in the playoffs." -- Nets F Kris Humphries, after re-signing with Brooklyn for two years and $24 million.
Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.