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New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-06-30 News New Jersey Nets

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News » New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-06-30

New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-06-30

New Jersey Nets Getting Inside 2009-06-30
The Nets will have money to spend on the coveted 2010 free agent market. How much they will actually spend and who might want to take it are other matters.

But the Nets cleared away $17.5 million off the books for the '10 derby when they traded Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson to the Orlando Magic for young, athletic wing Courtney Lee and two veterans, Rafer Alston and Tony Battie. It was the second straight year that the Nets made a stunning draft night trade. Last year, they sent Richard Jefferson to Milwaukee for forwards Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons.

The Nets immediately disputed claims of a salary dump and pointed to the NBA's trend of small, quick and athletic -- and to Carter's age (32).

So they cleared the decks down the road. But what about now? Team president Rod Thorn acknowledged the team probably took a step back to improve down the road, but he insists it might not be as bad as people suspect.

"Let's see how we play. I think we're going to be better than a lot of people think we are," said Thorn, whose Nets now align as a young, wing-driven team.

The key in the deal for the Nets from a personnel point is Lee, the Magic's starting "two" in the playoffs and, ironically, the guy the Nets argued about on draft night 2008. Some wanted Lee, some wanted the 6-10 Anderson. Size won. In Alston, the Nets get the third point guard they've sought while Battie brings more size up front. And both are chips in possible later deals because of their contracts.

With center Brook Lopez, a rookie revelation, and point guard Devin Harris, their leading scorer last season, joined by Lee and first-round pick Terrence Williams, the Nets are excited by their athleticism and potential. They are keeping their fingers crossed on Jianlian, who is facing the all-important third year, seen by many as the "put up or find a new profession" season.

"With Williams and Lee and Devin we have three guys who can handle the ball and are very, very quick. I'm sure we'll play them together a lot," Thorn said.

"We think we've got a real nice cadre of young players that have a lot of talent. Not only are they young but they have talent. We have some great athletes now and we think that's the way the league's going," the team exec added noting that the Nets may still have moves in store.

"I don't think we're a finished product. I think you'll see us do other things between now and the start of the season."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: June 30, 2009


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