Measurables: 6'9", 207 lbs
2010-2011 Season Averages: 9.2 PPG; 1.0 APG; 4.0 RPG; 0.4 BLK; 0.4 STL; 0.9 TO
Contract details: Completed year one of a five-year deal worth $35 million.
Prior to the 2010-11 season, Travis Outlaw signed a very lucrative deal that will pay him an average of seven million dollars for the next five years.
And here I thought that the New Jersey Nets would net themselves a starting small forward as the first signing of the Mikhail Prokhorov era; Outlaw was a player that had averaged 13.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game during the 2007-08 season and 12.8 points and 4.1 rebounds in 2008-09.
I had been down on Travis Outlaw for most of last season, all the while being overly optimistic that he would figure things out and justify the deal that the Nets inked him to last summer. For a little while, Outlaw came close to living up to my expectations, averaging 11.5 points a game in November and 10.3 in December.
In the following months, January, February and March, Outlaw didn’t average more than 8.6 points per game. Only in April did Outlaw's scoring average go up to 10.4, and that was just the last eight games of the season.
Will Travis Outlaw average more than 11 PPG next season?
Outlaw began the season with 22 consecutive starts, but slowed by a foot injury and inconsistent play throughout the season, Outlaw managed only managed 33 more starts over the next 60 games.
During the 2010-11 campaign, Outlaw shot a career-low 37.5 percent from the field and 30.2 percent from beyond the three-point arc, the third-lowest season percentage in his career. All of these lows came on a career-high 28.8 minutes per game.
While he’s is locked in with the Nets for the next four years because his contract makes him very unattractive to most of the teams in the NBA, Outlaw needs to work on his game over the summer in order to get back to performing like he did with the Portland Trail Blazers just a few years ago.
Playing alongside Deron Williams will certainly benefit Outlaw. Here’s to next season and to high hopes that Outlaw will prove that his $35 million contract won’t be a total bust for the Nets organization.
Originally written for www.FromRussiaWithDunk.com.