Tuesday , Jul , 17 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Breaking Down Rumors: Should the New Jersey Nets Have Traded Richard Jefferson For Jermaine O’Neal?

There have been reports the Nets turned down a draft-day deal for Jermaine O’Neal … New Jersey felt small forward Richard Jefferson was too high a price to pay … Did the Nets make the right decision? … Click here for news and analysis on this story …

The New York Daily News on the New Jersey Nets turning passing on Jermaine O’Neal:

On June 28, the night of the NBA draft, Nets president Rod Thorn said he had received several "interesting" trade offers, one of which, according to sources, was a blockbuster that would have sent Richard Jefferson, Nenad Krstic and Jason Collins to the Pacers for Jermaine O’Neal. Now, it appears the odds of the Nets making a major deal before the season begins in November are growing slim.

My Quick Take: The Nets were right to turn down this deal. By hanging onto Kidd and Carter, New Jersey re-committed to The Big Three model. So Jefferson, as the third star, stays in the swamps of Jersey.

O’Neal has been through a lot the last few seasons. Injuries have slowed him down. His conditioning hasn’t been great. And there have been off-court issues with his Pacer teammates.

All of this has taken a toll on the former MVP candidate. Plain and simple, O’Neal is no longer a legitimate franchise player. The Nets realized O’Neal was a risk and wisely passed on this deal.

Here’s something else we learned from this trade proposal: the Nets value Carter’s style over Jefferson‘s substance.

At times, Vince Carter is a remarkable player. And at times, he’s a remarkable no-show. Carter, himself, admitted this to John Thompson in a television interview.

Jefferson is almost as athletic as Carter. But he also does the dirty work and shows up every game. So I was surprised New Jersey, when faced with a choice, decided to re-sign Carter and see what they could get for Jefferson.

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