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Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Updated: January 3, 12:23 PM ET
Nets may have found home for McInnis in Charlotte

ESPN.com

New Jersey and Charlotte were close Tuesday night to finalizing a trade that would send guard Jeff McInnis from the Nets to the Bobcats for Bernard Robinson, multiple sources told ESPN.com.

Jeff McInnis
McInnis

The deal, which sources said had a strong chance of being finalized Wednesday, would solve one problem for the underperforming Nets -- getting them under the luxury tax threshold -- while still leaving them with a gaping hole in the middle following the season ending knee injury to center Nenad Krstic.

The Bobcats and Nets had discussed a trade that would have sent power forward Melvin Ely to New Jersey.

Instead, the Nets are willing to take back Robinson, a third-year swingman, because of the reduction it would bring to their nearly $67 million payroll. Under NBA rules, the players' salaries do not need to match because the Bobcats are well below the salary cap.

McInnis, making $3.6 million, was told before training camp to stay away from the team while the Nets tried to trade him. He lives in Charlotte, and the Bobcats became willing to take a chance on him after losing Brevin Knight for at least a month after surgery last week. The nine-year veteran McInnis, who averaged 5.3 points and 1.9 assists last season before having a falling out with coach Lawrence Frank, would be joining his seventh NBA team.