Nets worked out Jason Collins, looking to sign a big man soon

Jason Collins, Tayshaun Prince

Jason Collins with the Nets in 2007. (AP)

On a conference call Thursday, Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King said that the team worked out free agent forward Jason Collins over the All-Star break.

King, who was not at the workout, said he heard that “(Collins is) in shape.”

King and Nets head coach Jason Kidd will meet tomorrow with a list of players they’re looking at, hinting that they might want to sign a player sooner rather than later. He also said they’ll look at buyout candidates when the time comes.

ESPN reported earlier today that the Nets were considering signing Collins to a ten-day contract. King didn’t deny that they were looking at Collins, but he wouldn’t comment on the report. “(Collins is) obviously a part of the list,” King said. “We’re looking at any guys who are free agents. He’s one of the guys.”

Collins played for six and a half seasons with the New Jersey Nets, including a long stint with Nets current head coach Jason Kidd. He also briefly played with Joe Johnson on the Atlanta Hawks. He’s also represented by agent Arn Tellem, who represents Johnson and Brook Lopez.

Last summer, the 35-year-old Collins became the first openly gay male athlete in one of the four major professional US sports. Despite his desire to play, he has not played professional basketball since. He would become the first openly gay player in NBA history if he signed a contract.

“If we’re bringing somebody in, we’re bringing him in because we feel he can help our basketball team,” King said about the potential of bringing in Collins. “It’s not about marketing. We’re beyond doing something for gimmicks. We’re trying to bring a guy in to play basketball and help us win.”