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New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-09-19 News New Jersey Nets

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News » New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-09-19

New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-09-19

New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-09-19The Nets' roster shows 15 guaranteed contracts, the same number it showed back when the summer began. After a trade and their draft acquisition, the Nets stood pat throughout the summer. They looked around, made calls, but little, if anything, ever progressed to anything resembling a serious stage. They have needs. They have trade exceptions.

None of it mattered because they also have those 15 guaranteed contracts which made the summer an exercise in futility and inactivity. It was not easy doing all that window shopping.

"It was difficult," admitted general manager Kiki Vandeweghe, who loves utilizing an itchy trade finger. "Both Rod (team president Thorn) and I are used to being very active. We realize the team isn't built and we're not a finished product."

The Nets have a way to go, but maybe the distance to respectability is not as far as many think. There are important pieces in place like point guard Devin Harris and center Brook Lopez, two young players manning historically the two toughest positions to fill. There are young potential studs in acquisition Courtney Lee, rookie Terrence Williams, wingman Chris Douglas-Roberts and forward Yi Jianlian. And then there are role-playing veterans such as Tony Battie, Keyon Dooling, Rafer Alston and Jarvis Hayes.

This is not a superstar-laden roster to be sure, but it is not the bleak and barren landscape some envision, either. So patience and growth are watchwords for the season.

"The development of all of our young players is very important to the season," Vandeweghe said. "Brook, Courtney, CD-R (Chris Douglas-Roberts), Yi and to some extent, Devin, these are all young players with room to grow and improve. We like their potential." The trade of Vince Carter, the bona fide superstar of last season, opened up the realm of cap flexibility for the Nets for the Class of 2010. They may land a star, they may not. But more than virtually anybody, they will have the ability to do just that.

"When you're developing a team," Vandeweghe explained, "what you hope to have is a good core of young players to work with while creating and holding some cap space. You hope to have one or the other. We've been able to acquire both. It's not saying we're going to get any big (names) down the road but you're giving yourself a chance to do so."

Unlike what the Nets endured this summer.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 19, 2009


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