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The Search for the Final Piece

With the Nets deciding to give up on Marcus Williams and not offering Jaycee Carroll what he wanted--a guaranteed deal--the Nets are still searching for that third point guard to back up Devin Harris and Keyon Dooling. (Dooling is actually projected as a backup at both guard positions and is more a shoot-first PG anyway).

There are some obvious choices out there and some less obvious, but the reality is that most of the point guards still out there are more like Dooling than Harris. A couple of have been rumored as Net favorites over the off-season but remain free agents.

Here's a list of some possibilities.

--Shaun Livingston, 6’7", Clippers – Fan favorite, he is just now recovering from the latest and easily the most devastating injury of his injury-plagued career. Finally playing five-on-five at Tim Grover’s Attack Athletics in Chicago with Harris, he’s a pure point (who is experimenting with playing the wing). He reportedly wants more opportunity than backing up backups as well as a fully guaranteed deal. Still only 22...and very talented when healthy.

--Fred Jones, 6’2", Knicks – Mentioned early in the off-season as a player the Nets might be interested in. A good outside shooter and defender blessed with incredible athleticism. At 29 and without a job, he might be willing to accept the vets minimum. Had a decent season in limited minutes with the Knicks, averaging 7.6 ppg, 2.4 apg and shooting 38.5% from the arc. Problem is that he’s not a pass-first PG either.

--Darrell Armstrong, 6’1", Nets – Still listed on the Nets roster, still living in New Jersey, still advertising his Net connection in his basketball camp brochures. He wants to play another year and then begin coaching. Now 40 years old, he didn’t do badly last year, but there’s no indication the Nets are interested beyond using him in a sign-and-trade.

--Will Conroy, 6’2", NBDL – Played point with the Nets summer league team in Orlando, backing up Jaycee Carroll, then with the Cavs in Vegas. Played well with the Nets’ young big men. Spent most of the last three years divided between the Italian League and the D-League, where last year he averaged 17.4 ppg, 8.3 apg and 4.8 rpg while shooting 50.3% overall and 41.4% from the arc. Had one stretch with the Grizz, two with the Clips. He could go back to Europe. Still only 25.

--Lindsay Hunter, 6’2", Pistons – Another veteran who will turn 38 this season. After averaging 2.4 ppg and 1.4 rpg in nine minutes per, there's some question what he has left. He may wind up back in Detroit but he's also considering retirement. Another problem: local news reports Sunday suggest a partnership he's invested in has come under FBI investigation for mortgage fraud, which could require him to spend some time dealing with that.

And then there’s always Sam Cassell!

What do the Nets have to offer? Not much. The vets’ minimum is available, of course, either guaranteed or non guaranteed, as well as about $2 to $2.3 million left on the MLE (by our calculations) after signing Eduardo Najera.