The Nets have 13 players confirmed to be a part of the roster. AK-47 is still a long, but fair odds bet of joining the party. The Nets have a massive hole to fill behind Brook Lopez. We can fill that roster spot with one player, and leave an open roster spot for AK-47 or some injury flexibility, or we can fill that roster spot with two players, and call it a day. If there is an injury we do have the option to waive someone. So the question is, what to do, and who to look at? Below I've compiled a list of guys worth kicking the tires on. I'd love to get everyone's thoughts below.
Robin Lopez - Brooks brother, with a reputation as the anti-Brook. A good defender and rebounder, would fit nicely. Added bonus if either Brook or Robin get in foul trouble, they can switch jersey's in the locker room, and who would know the difference? The downside, is as an RFA worth at least a few million more than the minimum, we'd likely have to trade picks, MarShon Brooks and our remaining trade exception to get him, if it is even a remote possibility.
Greg Oden - Upside is well known. The man taken ahead of Kevin Durant, can be a franchise cornerstone if our medical staff can fix his knees. With Proky's bankroll, it's possible we can give him the $6 Million dollar man treatment, and give him some bionic joints. Oden, like Roy, had the same knee treatment that saved Kobe's career. So there is a possibility, that he can stay healthy. If so, this is BIG Reward possibility. Imagine having a front court with a healthy Oden and Brook for the next decade. Dwight who? The obvious negative is with Brook coming off of his own injury plagued season, counting on Oden's health is a major gamble for the Nets. It might also cost much more than the minimum to get him here.
Hassan Whiteside - A true 7 footer, with loads of athletic ability, and a 7'7" wingspan. This kid has major upside, but has not had enough of a focus on defense and rebounding, and as a result was waived by the Kings THIS summer. Was it a wake up call? Who knows. But, our team does have a positive track record in developing Bigs over the last few years (HUMP). If we can get some growth out of Whiteside, he could be another high upside pick up for the Nets. The downside, as with Oden, is it's a major gamble if we end up NEEDING him to be good.
Darko - I was really interested in Darko earlier this off-season. Thinking of the size, athletic ability, and advanced stats, Darko seems like a guy who hasn't been as bad as advertised, and can grow to be a quality contributor in the right situation. But, then I heard some of what his past teams fans had to say, and I instantly thought of the Petro warning label. The bottom line is, the people who have had to root for Darko to succeed are all happy he's gone. He's played for FIVE NBA teams, and left none of them happy. He's also proven crazy. It's like meeting a really hot girl, with 5 ex-husbands that were all happy to get rid of her. I NO LONGER WANT DARKO AT ALL. HE WILL NOT HELP US.
Hamed Haddadi - I don't know nearly enough about this guy, but he appeared to be a positive contributor for Memphis and is a legitimate 7' and change. He can rebound and block shots. I'm not sure how well he moves his feet. I'm intrigued, but I'm leaving this discussion to the more informed. He's definitely of interest, but I'm putting him in the same category as Whiteside. Not sure we can count on him, if we have to.
Ronny Turiaf - I've seen on Nets Daily some postings that Turiaf isn't as bad as we think. He's a good shot blocker and has been a positive player on a championship team. To be honest, I've been prejudiced against Turiaf since hearing Knick fans over-inflate his value. So maybe he's good. Maybe he's not. I'll keep an open mind, and leave that discussion for those who know better.
Carl Landry - I went to Purdue w/ Carl Landry. I am a VERY BIG fan of his, and as a result, I have always LOVED Carl Landry. He's a very good player. He plays much bigger than his height, and is very strong. That said, I've met him, and been in the same room with him on more than one occasion. He is no bigger than 6'7". He just isn't. I think he'll get more than the minimum, as well.
Kenyon Martin - He can still play, and at 34 years old, should be in ring chaser mode. It'd be cool to see him return to the Nets, but he isn't the same player he once was, and his mouth might still be the same as it always was. I can't see him taking a minimum deal, if he's got options. With so many PF's on the roster, I'd rather focus on guys larger than 6'10". I just remember him being very good, and getting dominated by Duncan and Shaq. I want a real Center if we can get one.
Memhet Okur - Two years ago, Okur was an impact player. He's coming off of multiple seasons where he was greatly limited by his back. We can't count on him. His upside is limited. I hope we just keep walking.
Jermaine O'Neal - See Okur.
Dan Gadzuric - Can't remember the last time he was relevant.
Kyrylo Fesenko - He played 17.1 minutes all of last year, but he had a 29.81 PER during those minutes! The fact is, I think this guy is someone we absolutely need to consider. The season before last, his impact on the Jazz overall defense was tremendous. As a team they were nearly 12 points better defensively per 100 possessions than without him! He fouls too much, and can put the ball in the basket at all. But he's 25, and he and Brook might be able to help make each others weakness just a little less weak. This is another guy, that I'd love to take a chance on.
Final thoughts: With Nazr looking like he's headed elsewhere, I think the names above are the most likely worth considering. If I've missed anyone, please write them below, with a brief summary of why they should be considered. I'll edit them into the fan post if I agree. Personally, I'd like to sign Oden, Fesenko, Haddadi, or Whiteside. I don't think anyone on this list is truly "reliable" in the vein of a back up Center, so if we're going to gamble, we might as well gamble on someone who might return the most realistic value. I say we sign one, and push to get AK-47. If we can't sign AK this year, than we sign another of that list, and hedge our gamble. If we get extremely lucky, we could end up going into next off-season with three 7-footers who can really play, and more money to offer AK-47.