HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: After striking out on big-ticket free agents, the Nets have wisely avoided overpaying second-tier guys and instead targeted young, undervalued players.
For instance, they recently signed Travis Outlaw to a multi-year deal for a very fair $25 million. And word is their considering a run at restricted free agent Tyrus Thomas.
Thomas has the physical tools: athleticism, length, and skill. However, he’s still young, raw, and, frankly, a bit immature.
Enter Avery Johnson.
He is known as ‘The Little General’ for a reason. Johnson, a former Coach of the Year and champion-winning point guard with the Spurs, would be able to develop Thomas’ physical gifts, while also nurturing the mental side of things.
Thomas would also fit nicely with a developing core of Derrick Favours, Devin Harris, Courtney Lee, Brook Lopez, and Outlaw.
However, there’s a catch: Thomas is a restricted free agent. The Charlotte Bobcats can match any offer he receives.
Look for the Nets to front-load any offer they tender, which would make it harder for the thrifty and small market Bobcats to match.
Despite losing out on Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, New Jersey is having a solid and productive off-season.
-- Oly Sandor.
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