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Nets agree to sign Andrea Bargnani to vets minimum contract

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The Nets have agreed to sign former overall No. 1 pick --and former Knick-- Andrea Bargnani to a two year deal. Bargnani, 29, will be paid the veterans minimum this season and will have player option in 2016-17. Thomas Robinson has a similar deal. Like T-Rob, the Italian seven-footer will back up both the center and power forward positions.

When Mirza Teletovic agreed to sign with the Phoenix Suns, Billy King said he had a back-up plan.  Bargnani, who has three point range, is apparently that back-up plan.  Several reporters had written over the weekend that the Bargnani was "finalizing" a deal with the Sacramento Kings.

Marc Stein reports that the Nets "swooped in" at the last minute.

Sources told the Kings were actually offering more money over the next two seasons than Brooklyn, but Bargnani preferred the fit with the Nets and opted for a two-year veterans minimum deal that includes a player option to return to free agency after the coming season.

Bargnani, who's been troubled with one injury after another in recent years, played only 29 games last season for the Knicks, averaging 14.8 points, 4.4 rebounds while shooting 45.4 percent overall and 36.6 percent from deep.  He hasn't played more than 45 games in the past four years and hasn't played more than 70 since 2009-10.  For his career, which began with his selection as the overall No. 1 pick in 2006, Bargnani has averages of 15 points, 4.8 rebounds and shooting percentages of 43.8 overall and 35.8 from three.

The signing ignited a debate among fans ... and pundits.

But at least one of his new teammates welcomed him, the Nets other former Knick, Shane Larkin.

Bargnani was highly unpopular in New York in part because he was often unavailable and because the Knicks gave up three picks for him, a first rounder next season and two second rounders.

Late Sunday, Bargnani himself confirmed the news.

He joins Sergey Karasev (Russia) and Bojan Bogdanovic (Croatia) on the Nets international contingent.