NBA Free Agency 2011: Tim Duncan and 5 Players the NJ Nets Wish They Could Sign

Artem AltmanContributor IIIMarch 30, 2011

NBA Free Agency 2011: Tim Duncan and 5 Players the NJ Nets Wish They Could Sign

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    Its already been more than a month since the trading-deadline. And with the regular season soon coming to an end, the New Jersey Nets will soon have to start planning their strategy in the upcoming free-agency period.

    Any fan would be ecstatic about their team signing a high-prized free agent, but NBA team executives have to realistic about the prospects of signing a player that is due for a big pay day or one that is simply looking for a change of scenery.

    Sometimes the want of a general manager to sign a free-agent does not align with the wish of the free-agent and that is when the two parties have to go their separate ways.

    In the following five slides you will be introduced to the five free-agents that WILL NOT sign with the New Jersey Nets or won't be signed by the organization.

5. Josh Howard

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    Once a promising swing-man, Josh Howard had managed to average more then 18 points per game with the Dallas Mavericks from 2006 to 2009.

    In 2008, Howard landed in hot water after a video surfaced of him making resentful comments during a singing of the National Anthem.

    Soon relegated to playing for the Washington Wizards, Howard might now be playing out his last NBA contract.

    Howard would make a decent backup guard-forward, but it's doubtful that any team would want to pick up the baggage that comes with signing him.

    That includes the Nets.

4. Nenad Kristic

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    Nenad Kristic started his NBA career in New Jersey and I'm sure that the Nets would love to bring him back into the fold to play alongside Brook Lopez.

    An unrestricted free-agent after this season, Kristic could resign with the Boston Celtics. With the age of Boston's Big Three pushing towards basketball retirement, Kristic's free-agency move will most likely be influenced by the other moves of the Celtics' management and the direction that they would go as their Championship core ages older then dinosaur fossils.

    The only way that I see Kristic parting ways with Boston is if Danny Ainge decides to go into a deep rebuilding mode. Unfortunately, I don't think that this will happen.

    This means that there won't be a Kristic and Nets reunion.

3. Jamal Crawford

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    Jamal Crawford is the kind of player that would help in scoring, one of the New Jersey Nets deficiencies. The other being help in the awfully thin front-court.

    A Sixth Man of the Year candidate the last couple of season, Crawford is looking for a big payday since the Atlanta Hawks are yet to sign him to an extension.

    Unless the Nets give in to Crawford's demands, he is sure to sign with a mediocre team that is willing to shell out big bucks in order to please its dwindling fan base.

2. David West

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    *Player has a Early-Termination Option (ETO) in his contract.

    Even if the New Jersey Nets wanted to make a significant offer to David West, there i no way that he will  now exercise his Early-Termination Option in order to become a free-agent after this season.

    After tearing his ACL last Thursday, West is sure to stick with the New Orleans Hornets for one more year and see how his recovery progresses. At this point, no team will offer him a contract anywhere near the number that he's looking for.

    New Jersey has to look elsewhere for frount-court help.

1. Tim Duncan

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    *Player has a Early-Termination Option (ETO) in his contract.

    This is more fantasy then reality, but there would be nothing better for the Nets than to sign Tim Duncan. Even if it's for more money than Duncan deserves at this point in his career.

    Duncan is currently averaging a career low 13.3 PPG and 9.0 RPG.

    Playing with Duncan would be of great benefit to Brook Lopez, as the Nets' young big man is currently going through a regression and is in dire need of tutelage.

    However, I see the San Antonio Spurs as one of the few teams in the NBA that would be willing to overpay in order for him to play out his last days with the team in dignity. And not do what the New York Knicks did with Patrick Ewing.

    For continuous coverage of the New Jersey Nets follow Artem Altman via Twitter.com/ArtemAltman.