Earlier today, the Nets acquired guard Jarrett Jack and forward Sergey Karasev from the Cleveland Cavaliers as a part of a three-team trade that sent Marcus Thornton to Boston. In the deal, the Nets picked up a solid, proven NBA guard (Jack) and an intriguing former first round pick (Karasev). Let's meet the newest members of the Brooklyn Nets.
The 30-year-old Jack is now with his fourth team in four years and his seventh NBA team in nine years in the league. The 6'3" guard figures to take over the backup point guard role that was vacant following Shaun Livingston's recent departure to Golden State (side note: Jack was Livingston's replacement in Cleveland this past season after Livingston left the Cavs for Brooklyn. Deja vu all over again).
According to TNT's David Aldridge, the Nets are considering using Jack the same way Livingston was used last season, which means he could see time as the starting shooting guard next to Deron Williams. Throughout his career, Jack has been shuffled back-and-forth from the starting lineup and role player off the bench. He started in 31 of 80 games for the Cavs last season, but only four of 79 for the Warriors in 2012-13. For his career, Jack has averaged just under 11 points/game on 44.3% shooting. The guard is also a good source of assists (4.3 per game in his career).
Karasev is one year removed from being the 19th overall pick by the Cavaliers in the NBA Draft. The Nets actually had interest in drafting the now 20-year-old Russian last summer with the 22nd overall pick (which they used to take Mason Plumlee instead). The lefty shooting Karasev spent most of this past season with Cleveland D-League affiliate (the Canton Charge), though he did manage to play in 22 NBA games (one start).
In the D-League, the 6'7" forward/guard averaged 13.5 points on 45.2% shooting, including just over 41% from behind the three-point line. Perhaps even more impressively, he pulled down exactly five rebounds per game and averaged 2.4 assists and one steal in his 18 games. Karasev seemed to play almost exactly to his pre-draft scouting report which labeled him as a potentially elite shooter from anywhere on the court and as a good distributor and ball handler. There were, and still are, questions about his ability to defend NBA players since he reportedly lacks the quickness to stay in front of his man. Here is video of some his D-League highlights (courtesy of the NBA D-League's YouTube Channel).
While Jack's role seems fairly self-evident, Karasev's role on this season's team seems less defined as of now. While having a young shooter to help create space in the half court is something the Nets were without last season, it remains to be seen how many minutes Karasev would see, especially if Paul Pierce returns. Karasev's two positions (small forward and shooting guard) would both potentially be blocked by Pierce, Jack, Joe Johnson, Andrei Kirilenko, Bojan Bogdanovic and 2014 second round pick Markel Brown.
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