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New Jersey Nets Roster Report 2008-04-30 News New Jersey Nets

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News » New Jersey Nets Roster Report 2008-04-30

New Jersey Nets Roster Report 2008-04-30

New Jersey Nets Roster Report 2008-04-30
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: For much of the first half of the season, Vince Carter seemed destined to be most "disappointing," not most "valuable" Net. And although he surrendered the team scoring lead to Richard Jefferson, Carter took on the team leadership mantle as well as anyone and raised his game after the trade of Jason Kidd. He raised his averages in virtually every category after the All-Star break, going from 20.5 points per game to 22.7 (627 points in 27 games) while lifting his shooting from .445 to .475. All that on an ankle that probably will need surgery in the off-season.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: He left in February, but the negative imprint Jason Kidd put on the team carried through the entire season. The team captain wanted out, made it be known and too many times played with extreme indifference. Ultimately, he was traded and the Nets tried to change on the fly but never recovered.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: The Nets have, technically, five free agents if you count Keith Van Horn (wink, wink) who came over with a one-year deal from Dallas in the Jason Kidd trade to make the numbers work. Their key unrestricted free agents are F Bostjan Nachbar and C DeSagana Diop, two key bench players who both should attract a fair amount of interest. G Darrell Armstrong, another unrestricted type, won't be back. He was brought in during training camp only after G Marcus Williams was injured.

An intriguing case is free agent Nenad Krstic, who is restricted, meaning the Nets can match any offer he receives from another team. But there is no guarantee they will match a big pact because they do not want to be a luxury tax team, plus Krstic struggled terribly in his return from a torn ACL and subsequent knee surgery.


--F Vince Carter underwent surgery April 23 to remove bone spurs from his ankle. He is expected to be on crutches for several weeks but should be ready to play well ahead of training camp.

--G Devin Harris repeatedly showed the promise that excites the Nets for the future (he just turned 25). In the 25 games he played for the Nets after arriving in the trade for Jason Kidd, Harris established numerous career highs: points, 27 (Mar. 28, at Indiana); assists, 15 (Mar. 26 versus Indiana); rebounds, 8 (Mar. 15 versus Utah); steals, 6 (Apr. 12 at Milwaukee). Plus, Harris tied career highs in minutes (41), blocks (3) and offensive rebounds (3).

The one disappointing career moment for Harris? This was the first time he was excluded from the playoffs.

"I never had that before. I don't want to deal with that," Harris said.

--F Richard Jefferson, although a Top 10 scorer virtually all season, knows that he may have played his last game as a Net. The Nets in the past were involved in serious trade discussions involving Jefferson -- with the Lakers and Bobcats in a 3-team deal; with Indiana for Jermaine O'Neal; with Chicago for Luol Deng. Talks could start fresh this summer, although Jefferson is tough to move (three years remaining at $42.4 million total).

"I've been fortunate where I've been here a long time. I've seen things change," Jefferson said. "I could be suiting up for someplace else next year. Nobody knows. Change happens. 'The NBA -- where change happens.' What you would like and what is a possibility are two different things."

--F Nenad Krstic wants to return to the Nets. But he knows his preferred team might not match an exceptionally large restricted free agent offer this summer, especially after his down season following knee surgery. The Nets might not be able to gamble on losing the 7-footer who turns 25 in July. But Krstic is prepared for anything.

"It's a business. They always say to me it's a business. So if somebody offered more money, probably I would go there but it's still early to think about it. I mean if somebody offers me more money and they're not going to match, what am I going to do?" Krstic said.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 30, 2008


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