By BOB CONSIDINE Staff Writer
31 August 2005
Either the New Jersey Nets are including astronaut training as part of their physical examinations or they're just plain unlucky.
Whatever the case, the Nets announced Tuesday that power forward Robert "Tractor" Traylor will not be with the team because the burly forward failed his physical.
The Nets now lead the league in failed physicals, with Shareef Abdur-Rahim also failing his this summer to blow up an important sign-and-trade deal that would have elevated them to the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.
"We might have to look at a shooter instead, or if we can, another four-five guy. We could still go with a bigger player," Nets president Rod Thorn said.
The Nets and Traylor agreed to terms almost two weeks ago, pending the physical. He would have been paid $1.6 million for one year, what was left from their $5 million mid-level exception.
Thorn would not say why Traylor failed his physical, although he has had foot, knee and weight problems in the past.
The pickings are getting slim for the Nets. Remaining free agents that are within the $1.6 million-per-year range include veteran big men Calvin Booth and Andrew DeClercq and guards Jason Kapono, Steve Smith and DerMarr Johnson.
The Nets could try the trade route. They have an expendable first-round pick in 2005 and could package guard Zoran Planinic, who's entering the last year of his contract, in a deal.