Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Opening Tip: Nets don't count out Collins
By Mike Mazzeo
NEW YORK -- The Nets discussed the possibility of signing Jason Collins in the offseason, but didn’t happen.
Still, according to colleague Marc Stein, don’t be surprised if it does happen in the future.
The Nets have no current opening or need for Collins, but I'm told they haven't ruled out revisiting the matter later in the season depending on the state of their frontcourt. Collins has long-standing ties to rookie coach Jason Kidd and lead assistant Lawrence Frank from their days together in the early 2000s, when the Nets were a perennial Eastern Conference contender, and is also well-liked by Brooklyn newcomers Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce after their time together last season in Boston. Mikhail Prokhorov, furthermore, is the one owner on the NBA map who scoffs at the luxury tax and could stomach eating one of his 15 guaranteed contracts to sign Collins and bump that $87 million tax bill even higher.
As Stein points out, Collins used to play with the Nets and Celtics. He has a lot of respect around the league -- especially in Brooklyn. Collins, attempting to become the first openly gay player to play in an NBA game, is known for his post defense and his intangibles -- namely setting quality screens and providing leadership.
The Nets already have a stacked frontcourt that features Brook Lopez, Garnett, Andray Blatche, Reggie Evans, Andrei Kirilenko, Mirza Teletovic and Mason Plumlee, so this seems unlikely.
But it could be a move that benefits them later in the season when they have to face skilled bigs in the playoffs.
UP NOW: Ohm’s newser on the positive energy at the team’s first practice. He also filled up the blog with injury updates on Deron Williams and Jason Terry, and another item on D-Will’s confidence.
WHAT’S NEXT: Day 2 of training camp in Durham, N.C. Ohm will have you covered, so please frequent ESPNNewYork.com.
QUESTION: Would you like to see the Nets sign Collins later in the season even at the expense of one of their other players? Let us know in the comments section below.