New Jersey Nets: 10 NBA Players in 2011 Free Agency To Turn Team Around
The New Jersey Nets, for all intents and purposes, have given up on trying to acquire Carmelo Anthony. It is obvious that there are still gaping holes in the Nets' offense and defense, which are made evident by team rankings:
29th in points per game
22nd in rebounds per game
27th in assists per game
15th in points allowed
If the Nets don't make any moves before the trading deadline then they can always trying to make a move in free agency.
The list was compiled under the premise that the Nets squad will remain the same until the start of free agency period.
10. Kurt Thomas
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Kurt Thomas is currently averaging 4.9 ppg and 6.1 rebounds, all in 23.9 minutes/game. The Nets need is not in his point or rebound, but, in Thomas' veteran presence that has been missing for much of Brook Lopez's career.
Not having a big man mentor is one of the reasons that Lopez's rebounding has regressed this season. Another reason to consider signing Thomas is the similar kind of work he could for rookie Derrick Favors. For all the high prices free-agents that Nets could sign, they still need veterans to show the young players the ropes.
9. Tayshaun Prince
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If is very likely that the Detroit Piston will deal Tayshaun Prince before the deadline, but, on an off chance that he sticks around in Mo Town until the end of the season, he surely won't resign with the team.
Nets could use the lanky forward to come off the bench, who is still averaging 14.6 ppg 4.6 rpg. Prince could even start considering Nets lack of depth at the small forward.
8. Tracy McGrady
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It's been years since T-Mac has been a marque NBA caliber player. Back and knee injuries have robbed the once explosive guard of his quickness and once that went McGrady turned into a mere mortal of a basketball player.
McGrady, though, shouldn't be written off just yet. McGrady's one time teammates Grant Hill has experienced a career resurgence after a prolonged period of injury related setbacks and is now a steady contributor for the Phoenix Suns. McGrady should have a chance in this day and age of advanced medicine technologies.
McGrady's current team, the Detroit Pistons, are in sale mode. That and the plethora players on the Pistons depth chart that are ahead of McGrady: Rodney Stuckey, Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon, could mean that could be looking to move elsewhere.
What does McGrady bring to the Nets?
McGrady should be realistic about being a reserve. He brings experience to the often times overwhelmed Nets back-court and should provide some soft of stability. A plus is his price tag, which should be down to a minimum.
7. Michael Redd
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Michael Redd is another player whose values has plummeted as a result of sustaining ACL and MLC injuries the last two season.
No need to fear. Even though Redd is getting paid $18 million for (not) playing this season, the amount that he will get on the open market will not be even close to that.
Redd will most likely sign in the range of $4 - $6 million and that is something that is worth gambling on a player that just two years ago was a 20-ppg scorer.
6. Peja Stojakovic
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Peja Stojakovic is 33-years old and has been in the league for 12 years. Needles to say that Peja is past his prime, however, his NBA career is nowhere near its expiration date.
Nets desperately lack scoring from either forward position and Stojakovic's shooting represents a solution to the Nets woe. Stojakovic and Brook Lopez could play a game similar to that of Hedo Turkoglu and Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic where Turkoglu sits on the three-point line and feeds Howard, who, if needed passes it back to Turkoglu.
Stojakovic would most likely come off the bench, but, its not hard to imagine that he'd play a good chunk of minutes at either of the forward spots.
5. Mike Dunleavy
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Mike Dunleavy is another player that the Nets could use in their back-court.
Dunleavy is in the last year of a contract that will earn him $10 million, but, just like Michael Redd, Dunleavy won't get offers even remotely close to what he's earning right now.
For his career Dunleavy is making 44 percent of his shots from the field and 35 percent from beyond the three-point line. A borderline starter for another year or two, Dunleavy, could transition into back up role and provide scoring off the bench.
Think of him as a poor man's Brent Barry.
4. J.R. Smith
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In J.R. Smith the Nets could get a type of high flying player that hasn't been seen in New Jersey since Vince Carter left town.
After all of the early season trade rumors and talk that Denver won't give Smith the kind of money that he would be expecting after becoming a free-agents this season. Thus, giving Mikhail Prokhorov a chance to upgrade New Jersey's back-court.
Although, Prokhorov would have to overpaid in order to bring Smith to the Nets.
For anyone who is against the Nets pursuing Smith, consider that his per 36 minutes point averages the last two were 17.1 ppg and 20.0 ppg, respectively.
3. Jamal Crawford
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If Nets can't can't trade for Jamal Crawford then they should attempt to sign him as a free-agent.
The Atlanta Hawks have too much money invested in other players in order to meet Crawford's demands. With the Nets Crawford has a chance to start or provide a much needed scoring spark off the bench.
Just think that last year Crawford averaged 18 ppg without starting a single game.
2. Jeff Green
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It's very important to note that Jeff Green is a Restricted Free Agent after this season, which means that the Oklahoma City Thunder can match the offer sheet that Green signs with another team.
Nets' Travis Outlaw has been a disappointment so far. Combine that with a contract that might have been a little too expensive for a player of his caliber and you have to wonder how long with the Nets play him before he goes to the bench.
Green's numbers have been pretty consistent the last two seasons (about 15 points and six rebounds), but, his potential could be lost among all of the other talented Thunder players.
1. Zach Randolph
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Why can't Zach Randolph be for the Nets what Jamal Crawford is for the Hawks?
Any team can use a guy that scores 20 point and grabs 13 rebounds per game. Even if that team already has Brook Lopez and Derrick Favors.
While signing Randolph's would be pricey, but, Mikhail Prokhorov has the money. Doesn't he? Randolph minutes would drop a bit, but not significantly. Randolph could come off the bench for either Lopez or Favors and with him the Nets production wouldn't drop. It could even increase.
Don't tell me that with Randolph the Nets wouldn't become a scary team to play against.