New Jersey Nets: Rod Thorn Gets Devin Harris

Stephen DyellCorrespondent IFebruary 19, 2008

“Step away from your crack dealer.”  Those words uttered out of the mouth of Mark Cuban just a week ago when asked about trading Devin Harris.

If all goes well then guards Devin Harris, Trenton Hassell, Maurice Ager, center DeSagana Diop, and forward Keith Van Horne, will be joining the Nets team in the midst of a pathetic playoff race.

John Hollinger, along with many other reporters, complimented Rod Thorn on getting such a great deal for his old, but experienced, point guard.  The offers that had been listed had made almost no sense.  Many would have been happy for Kidd’s contract just to expire.

Instead of having Jordan Farmar leading the point, we have a young, but seasoned, point guard in Harris.  Harris who will be celebrating his 25th birthday this week.  He's coming into New Jersey ten years younger than Kidd, but only one less Finale appearance.

“I have a new future to look forward to,” he says.  It, in no way, means the talent level is the same.  The two guards play very different games.  Kidd set up players like no other, while Harris blows by guys and takes the contact.  Harris also stepped in for Steve Nash when he got a better offer from Phoenix.  Only a rookie, he watched Steve Nash pick up two MVP’s.

A mere year later, after being embarrassed by Baron Davis and the Warriors, Harris finds himself in a new environment.  “I’m looking forward to having a little bit more control, a little bit more freedom over there. I love my team-mates here, so it’s mixed emotions, but I’m excited about the new challenge,” said Harris.

Harris won’t be going alone as he heads over with team-mates, one being Keith Van Horne.  Maurice Ager, the youngest of the group is an undersized two guard who played second fiddle to Shannon Brown at the University of Michigan.  Ager has yet to see real NBA time in his short career, yet has been money in the D-League.  He will either get time right away or stay in the D-League in Colorado as Trenton Hassell fights to fill Antoine Wright’s role.

Hassell, who was traded from Minnesota earlier in the 2007 season, will look to find his game that he somehow lost between being signed an above average amount, to now. Could be an interesting trading piece due to size and veteran status.  His contract still has couple years left on it. 

DeSagana Diop was an underrated defender, who often had to go against the Duncan’s and the Amare’s of the West.  Now he has to earn his time in a front court that has improved vastly over the years.


Sean Williams, along with Nenad Krstic and Josh Boone, have earned their time under Lawrence Frank, but Diop's defensive ability is what he will fall in love with.  Stromile Swift might be thrown under the bus if Diop gets the back-up role, as he finds a seat beside Jamaal Magloire.

Last but not least, Keith Van Horn.  Though he may not ever enter a game, he helped the Nets groom themselves for the future.  Horn helped out New Jersey before being kicked out by the very player he helped get to Dallas.  Playing or not, his aspiring four million will be nice at the seasons end.

Altogether Rod Thorn got a good deal out of a good player.  Losing right now definitely does not look as grim, especially with two young men and a young guard.  The talent here, accompanied by more money in the off-season, could make this team rise to the top before most people expect it.