New Jersey Nets: 4 Players Who Need to Be Locked Up Long-Term

John Nizinski@@jniz73Analyst IIIMarch 8, 2012

New Jersey Nets: 4 Players Who Need to Be Locked Up Long-Term

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    In order for an NBA team to be successful, it must have the right pieces to put around its star players. Role players are crucial for any championship team and if the New Jersey Nets want to start competing again, they must keep certain role players who are currently on their team.

    Especially if the Nets are able to acquire Dwight Howard, they will have to try and build around him and Deron Williams.

    Here are four players who the Nets should lock up long-term in order to help build a championship-caliber team for the future.

DeShawn Stevenson

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    Most importantly, DeShawn Stevenson is a former NBA champion. Having that experience on the Nets is important.

    This season, Stevenson has been asked to play small forward, even though he is a natural shooting guard. He took some time adjusting to the new role, but he has come into his own of late.

    Stevenson would offer the Nets quality minutes off the bench. He is a decent three-point threat, which is important, because the Nets are a three-point shooting team. And if Dwight Howard is acquired, he would demand attention in the paint, opening up three-point chances for Stevenson.

    The Nets have relied on Stevenson as a defensive substitute at the end of the games, and he should be shutting down players for the Nets in Brooklyn.

    Lock him up long-term.

Shelden Williams

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    With the injuries to Brook Lopez and Mehmet Okur, the Nets have relied heavily on Shelden Williams, and he has been crucial for them this season.

    Without a legitimate center, Williams has had to play big. He has proven to be a solid fundamental player who helps Kris Humphries by scoring, grabbing rebounds and playing physical defense down low.

    Whether the Nets keep Lopez or acquire Dwight Howard, Williams could serve as the first big man off the bench.

    Lock him up long-term.

Jordan Farmar

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    Jordan Farmar has been an underrated and solid backup point guard since joining the Nets. He could probably be a starter on some teams in the NBA, but don't tell him that.

    He has proven to be a true three-point scoring threat this season, shooting 46.4 percent from beyond the arc, including a game-winner against the Los Angeles Clippers.

    He will and should receive significant playing time, which will allow Deron Williams to play the shooting guard position.

    Lock him up long-term.

Kris Humphries

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    Kris Humphries has made a name for himself off the court by marrying Kim Kardashian. However, he has made a name for himself on the court.

    For the past two seasons, Humphries has done the dirty work for the Nets. He has grabbed rebounds and played physical defense. However, he also has become a legitimate scorer at the power forward position.

    This past offseason, the Nets signed him to a one-year deal, and he has proven that he deserves a long-term contract. He has been important for the Nets and will be a solid player to have at the power forward position in the future.

    Lock him up long-term.