The New York Daily News’ Ohm Youngmisuk reports on Alonzo Mourning’s hopes of buying himself out of his Nets pact in order to hook with a contender.
Mourning has more than $17 million and three years left on a fully guaranteed contract. Two sources said Mourning would be willing to give up perhaps a few million knowing that if he were set free, he likely would command only the 10-year veteran’s minimum of $1.1 million for one season from any other team.
No team is willing to risk any more money on a 34-year-old center who underwent kidney transplant surgery last December. And that is the reason why a trade is unlikely. Mourning might even be willing to do a buyout similar to the one Eddie Robinson agreed to with the Bulls for $10.5 million of the $14.1 million remaining on Robinson’s contract.
The Nets, however, would buy Mourning out only if the center was willing to surrender millions more, according to three sources.
After signing Mourning to a four-year contract worth $22.6 million two summers ago when other teams were afraid of his deteriorating kidney condition, the Nets don’t see any reason why they should pay him to play for somebody else. The Nets did just that with Dikembe Mutombo, buying out Mourning’s pal last preseason for $27 million of the $37 million remaining on his contract.
However, the Nets do have some incentive for buying out Mourning. Besides the fact that Mourning consistently has criticized management and ownership’s offseason moves, the Nets can rid themselves of further risk with Mourning’s health.