When the vaunted Summer of 2010 free agency class began, there was always the sense that one or two of the franchises with oodles of cap space would get shut out from landing one of the marquee free agents. Well, now we know the identity of that team: the New Jersey Nets.
Ric Bucher of ESPN (via Chad Ford) reports that the Nets have come to terms on a five-year, $35 million deal with former Blazers and Clippers swingman Travis Outlaw, in a move that is more or less an admission that they won't land LeBron James. Outlaw's deal is fully guaranteed, per Yahoo!'s Marc Spears, and is flat -- he will simply make $7 million each season, leaving the Nets with some $25 million in cap space to play with. Fanhouse's Sam Amick reports that Outlaw chose New Jersey after meeting with new Nets head coach Avery Johnson and establishing an instant rapport with New Jersey's diminutive coach, as well as being offered the opportunity to be an unquestioned starter for essentially the first time in his career.
The 25-year old Outlaw is a solid pick-up for the Nets, giving them an athletic wing with "upside" who can create his own shot and is decent from long-range. Still, Outlaw is coming off an injury-plagued season that saw him only play 34 games and has never averaged more than 13.3 points per game in his career. So is he worth $7 million a year? Yikes.
The Nets are rumored to be closing in on deals with Kyle Korver and Tyrus Thomas as well, according to the New York Post and ESPN's Chad Ford. New Jersey reportedly hopes to hang on to roughly $10 million of their remaining cap space to use either to facilitate trades or conserve for next summer.
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