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Nets Readied Big Contract for Scola, But Rocket Decided to Stay Home

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The Houston Chronicle reports Thursday the Nets had been prepared to offer Luis Scola $55 million over five years, including a big signing bonus, earlier this month, but the Rockets forward decided to accept the security of a smaller deal with Houston.

According to the Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen, "With indications that the New Jersey Nets had decided to chase Scola with a five-year, $55 million contract, heavily front-loaded and with a $9.5 million signing bonus, the Rockets offered a five-year, $47 million contract and Scola quickly accepted, rather than to wait for another offer or return to the Spanish League."

Scola was a restricted free agent and if the Nets had actually tendered an offer sheet, the Rockets would have had seven days to match the Nets' offer.  The 6'9" Scola said this week he was wracked with anxiety while waiting for the contract.  "I almost died. It was so stressful. If I didn’t die of a heart attack this week, I think I’ll never die."

Meanwhile, David Aldridge reports that the Nets also made a bid for the Lakers' 6'9" Josh Powell, but he's expected to sign with Atlanta in the next couple of days.  The Bulls and Cavaliers also made bids.