NBA Rumors: DeShawn Stevenson an Underrated and Smart Signing for Nets

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 23, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  DeShawn Stevenson #92 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts against the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The Mavericks won 105-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The New Jersey Nets are expected to sign DeShawn Stevenson on Friday, according to ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard, in a move that will pay huge dividends for their team this season.

His deal with the Nets is reportedly one year at $2.5 million.

Stevenson is a very good defender and will bring veteran leadership to a Nets roster that is void of any championship experience. Stevenson won the NBA Finals last season with the Dallas Mavericks.

Nets general manager Billy King talked about Stevenson on Thursday, explaining what he'll bring to the franchise.

"He gives us a guy that has proven he likes to play defense and challenges guys defensively," King said. "Veteran presence that's played the game and understands it. So from that standpoint, he's won a championship, so he knows what they had to put in to win it."

This signing won't make the headlines and it probably won't get Nets fans too excited, but the impact Stevenson will have on the team's success this season will surely be seen on the court and felt in the locker room.

Stevenson has a career scoring average of 7.7 points per game, but his true value to the Nets will be his exceptional defense and the toughness he plays with.

He often defends the best perimeter scorer on the other team, and has no problem with his offense suffering a bit because of that assignment.

He is also an underrated shooter who can stretch the floor and allow scorers like Deron Williams to have enough room to drive to the basket and finish at the rim.

Williams is happy with the signing of Stevenson, and thinks the veteran will help the Nets in several ways this season.

"A player like DeShawn brings toughness and defense, defensive-minded," Williams said. "(He's) another shooter that can space the floor. I think he's going to be a good addition to our team, a guy that knows how to play basketball. He's been in the playoffs year after year. He's won a championship. He brings a winning attitude to this team, which is something we need."

Stevenson will show the Nets how hard you need to work to become champions, and his leadership will help these players well beyond this season.

The Nets have high expectations this season and are capable of making the playoffs. Stevenson will be an integral part of their lineup this year and a player who will really help the team improve in many ways.

This is an underrated signing that will have a positive impact for the Nets, and it shows they are committed to winning and doing what it takes to accomplish their goals.