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Off-Season Report Card

Marcus Williams - 6'3" - 20 - PG - Drafted #22 ($1.1 million)
Grade: A

Everybody's choice as the "steal of the draft", in some cases used derisively since his involvement in the theft of laptops was the reason most often cited for why he dropped so low. Thought to be a lock in the lottery--even top seven--Williams was viewed as the draft's best point guard. Going at #22 meant 18 teams passed on him at least once. He promises payback. Modelled his game after Jason Kidd who he will back up and perhaps even succeed. Only thing keeping the grade from an A+ is lingering doubt about his character.

Josh Boone - 6'10" - PF - 21 - Drafted #23 ($1.0 million)
Grade: B+

Whatever focus issues may have plagued him in his junior year were not evident in the summer league where he was the leading rebounder and shot blocker, two things the Nets wanted when they drafted him. Was pegged as a late lottery pick if he had come out in 2005. Injury hurts his development but he blocked five shots in the game where he is believed to have hurt it. See you in December or January.

Hassan Adams - 6'4" - SF/SG - 22 - Drafted #54 ($412,000)
Grade: A-

A deep second round pick, Adams lost ground because of three arrests between December and May, a stress fracture of his foot in June and a fear that he might be a tweener. None of the arrests were for anything as serious as Williams felony larceny charge and he continued to play on the bad foot during NBA workouts. As for his tweener status, Adams long wingspan [6'10"], leaping ability [48" vertical leap] and strength helps him. A great defender particularly against point guards and maybe the best athlete in the draft. Nets say they considered taking him at #23. Another steal? His college coach, Lute Olsen, thinks so.

Mikki Moore - 7'0" - C - 30 - Traded for second round pick in 2009 ($1.07 million)
Grade: C+

Taken as insurance if Boone's shoulder takes longer than expected to heal. Plays good defense, can shoot a little, can run the floor, and is good in the locker room. No one is going to confuse him with an NBA starting center, but at $1.07 million and one year, a bargain if he fulfills his limited role.

Cliff Robinson - 6'10" - PF/SF - 39 - Resigned ($1.2 million)
Grade: B+

His drug suspension cost him $1.3 million, the difference between what he would have gotten, $2.5 million, and what he wound up with, a $1.2 million salary this year and a $500,000 buyout option next year. If he can play like he did last season with 24 double-doubles, some decent defense and good if inconsistent three point shooting, he will be a bargain. Always has playoff problems.

Eddie House - 6'1" - SG/PG - 28 - Free Agent ($1.5 million)
Grade: B+

Considering his shooting ability and small contract, a great pickup at a bargain price. A gunner who can play some point, once he gets hot, it's bombs away. Nets are looking to run more and House helps that plan a lot. He can disrupt a defense with some well-placed three's. Defense as questionable as his conscience.

Mile Ilic - 7'2" - C - 22 - Drafted #43 in 2005 - ($800,000)
Grade: A-

It's all about potential. Ilic's nickname on his Serbian team was "Yao Mile" because his height and skillset are reminiscent of a poor man's Yao Ming. He is tall, athletic, a good shooter and passer with limited post moves. Nets brass have described him as "lottery caliber" and "intriguing". By signing him to a multi year deal, the Nets guarantee that if he learns quickly they will have a bargain down the road. A small risk with potentially big rewards.