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Old 08-11-05, 09:32 AM
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Nets expected to waive former Spur Ron Mercer

Nets still in search mode
Thursday, August 11, 2005
BY DAVE D'ALESSANDRO
Star-Ledger Staff

As the off-season began, the Nets had hoped to add Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Keyon Dooling and, perhaps, Brian Grant. Their noblest aspirations, however, have resulted in Marc Jackson, Jeff McInnis, and a few other guys who aren't likely to strike fear in the hearts of opponents.

But as he looked back over the past five weeks of roster building, Rod Thorn would like to remind you that the Nets are still positioned where they want to be, even if Jackson doesn't have Abdur-Rahim's cachet.

"Losing Shareef is a tough loss, obviously," the Nets president said in the aftermath of Tuesday's aborted sign-and-trade deal for the free-agent forward. "He was the low post scorer who would take pressure off our perimeter guys and really spread the court. But I think if we can add two more players who can help us, we're going to have more depth on this team than we've had on any team -- more guys that are pretty good players."

Even had the Nets landed Abdur-Rahim, they were going to add "a center type" anyway, Thorn noted -- and Jackson now fills that role. Over the past few weeks, Thorn said he made inquiries about DeSagana Diop, Mikki Moore, Andrew DeClercq, Jake Voskuhl and Dale Davis, and one could argue that Jackson is more valuable than all of them.

Moreover, Jackson's arrival clarifies the goals for the rest of the off-season.

"What we'd like to do if we can is add another forward and a wing player," Thorn said, "so we'll see who's available after teams make their amnesty cuts."

In other words, the Nets are going to back off on their original plans to pursue Grant, who was cut by the Lakers Tuesday as part of the amnesty provision in the new collective bargaining agreement. While Thorn made his perfunctory call to agent Mark Bartelstein "just to show our interest," he now admits Grant is no longer the priority.

There will be roughly a dozen new free agents available Monday, when these tax-saving moves are made. The Nets themselves are likely to waive Ron Mercer.

In turn, they are expected to vigorously pursue two of the newly-unemployed -- Aaron McKie of the Sixers and Austin Croshere of the Pacers. Of course, that doesn't mean the Nets will ignore Allan Houston if or when the Knicks cut him loose, but that would compel Thorn to look at more MRIs, which has not exactly become his favorite pastime.

Until then, the Nets are happy to have Jackson aboard.

"I've been watching him since he was a freshman at Roman Catholic," said Nets GM Ed Stefanski, a fellow Philadelphian. "So, I've known Marc a lot of years, and he can bring a lot to the table. With the way our stars play, he'll be a valuable commodity. And he's a tough guy. He definitely fills a role for us."
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Old 08-11-05, 09:36 AM
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Lets hope we can avoid the "Wow, we should sign him!" replies for this one.
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Old 08-11-05, 10:08 AM
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Haven't they signed him for 1 million or something similar?
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Old 08-11-05, 01:30 PM
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Who?
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Old 08-11-05, 01:32 PM
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Poor guy, he's too inconsistent.
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Old 08-11-05, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Haven't they signed him for 1 million or something similar?
No, I think he was making $ 3 million last season
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Old 08-11-05, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spurs Brazil
No, I think he was making $ 3 million last season
Ron Mercer signed a 2 year contract on 8/12/04 for $3.36 million.
He is due $1.76million this year.
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Old 08-11-05, 04:34 PM
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i wish i could make money for sucking at basketball like Ron Mercer!
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