My favorite part of the below item copped from the Bergen Record’s Al Iannazzone is the bit about Indy not wanting Jason Collins as a throw-in. Can you blame ’em?
The Nets and Pacers, who discussed a multiplayer swap involving Jermaine O’Neal in June, renewed talks recently, according to league sources familiar with the conversations.
The new proposal would send Vince Carter, Marcus Williams and Jamaal Magloire to Indiana for O’Neal. But O’Neal has a bone bruise in his knee that will sideline him at least two weeks.
Nothing is imminent, though, as O’Neal’s health and $64 million salary through the 2009-10 season are real deterrents for the Nets.
In June, the Pacers wanted Richard Jefferson “ provided they found a third team to take him — Williams and Nenad Krstic for O’Neal. The Nets countered by removing Krstic and adding Jason Collins and Indiana declined.
The recent proposal seems riskier for the Nets.
Carter has been inconsistent since signing his four-year, $61.8 million deal in July. But the Nets would be giving up their go-to guy and best and most clutch shooter for a big man with knee issues and arguably enduring his worst season in seven years.
Plus, the Nets would become a luxury tax-paying team. O’Neal, 29, makes $19.7 million this season. The Nets would rather have Indiana take Collins (two years, $12.3 million) instead of Magloire (one year, $4 million) to alleviate the luxury-tax hit. But the Pacers don’t want Collins.
Another possible glitch is Nets owner Bruce Ratner’s affinity for Carter. Ratner may not want to part with the shooting guard.
The New York Post’s Peter Vecsey, presumably not inclined (for once) to dismiss the veracity of a trade rumor, would prefer to see another Nets fixture shipped out of town for a rebuilding effort. However, I don’t think Vecsey’s Page 6 colleagues would be happy to see Jason Kidd go.
The time to make major moves is now; losing to the Knicks three straight times in one season (regardless of whether Kidd called in sick or healthy) should be ample proof the Nets are terrible.
if dealing Carter means parting with more than one young contributor, the Nets need to hang up. If he has to be the face of the franchise when it moves to Brooklyn, so be it. There’s something to be said, I admit, for flaunting a go-to guy who can create a shot for himself or teammates at crunch time and finish at the play at the foul line.
Kidd, on the other hand, has outlived his usefulness (his triple double flair, notwithstanding) in New Jersey since Frank’s Nets rarely run to paydirt anymore.
At the same time, Kidd remains eminently desirable throughout the league. The Celtics, Mavericks, Spurs, Suns, Nuggets, Lakers, Cavaliers and Magic are intent on obtaining him or Sam Cassell or Mike Bibby or Andre Miller.
The Nets, meanwhile, need to start fresh. Adding O’Neal or some other inside presence (who might that be?) and praying for an harmonic convergence will set back the rebuilding process and screw up the salary cap indefinitely.