Today the Brooklyn Nets made the signings of free agents Andray Blatche and Shaun Livingston official. Blatche was the Nets best player off the bench last season, averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds and was 14th in the league in Player Efficiency Rating (second on the team to Brook Lopez). Shaun Livingston seems to be the perfect player to fill in as the backup point guard to Deron Williams. Last season he averaged 6.3 points per game and 3.3 assists in 66 games split between the Washington Wizards and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Livingston is more famous for his gruesome knee injury in 2007 than his play on the court but he should be a great facilitator on a team where he is surrounded by veterans.
The team was also quite busy talking to free agent small forward Andrei Kirilenko today. Peter Vecsey of the New York Post has reported that the Nets and the Russian wingman have come to a 2 year deal worth $3.1 million a year. Kirilenko is one of the top free agents left on the market and should fit in perfectly with the team. Kirilenko is an athletic swingman who averaged 12.4 points and 5.7 rebounds per game for the Minnesota Timberwolves last season. He is also a very good defender who will be able to play both the 3 and the 4 depending on if the Nets want to stretch the floor. The former All-Star opted out of the last year of his deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which would have been worth $10 million, in order to become a free agent. Kirilenko’s relationship with Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov is likely to have had an influence on his decision. “AK 47” played for CSKA Moscow for 4 seasons when Prokhorov was the owner.
The much anticipated trade with the Boston Celtics should finally be made official tomorrow and Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry will officially be members of the Brooklyn Nets. After the trade is official it is likely to be the end of the Nets off-season acquisitions. However, with the Nets front office nothing should come as much of a surprise with one roster spot remaining.
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