The Nets are on the verge of acquiring Cleveland Cavaliers guard Jarrett Jack and forward Sergey Karasev in a three-team deal that would send away Nets guard Marcus Thornton, according to a report from Marc Stein of ESPN.
ESPN sources say Brooklyn Nets on verge of acquiring Jarrett Jack from Cleveland in three-team deal
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 9, 2014
The third team is reportedly the Boston Celtics, who would acquire Thornton, a future first-round pick from the Cavaliers, and Cavaliers forward Tyler Zeller. The Cavaliers would get… something. Probably a second-round pick or cash considerations. But they won’t take back any salary.
Jack responded to a text from David Aldridge about the trade:
Jarrett Jack text on going from Cleveland to Brooklyn "I love it."
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) July 9, 2014
The national perspective on this deal: this is all about the Cavaliers engineering cap space in the hopes of enticing LeBron James back to Cleveland. Jack has two years and $12.6 million remaining on his contract (with a team option for the third year), and dealing Karasev takes an additional $1.5 million off the books. That leaves the Cavaliers with enough space to offer James a maximum contract, with room around him to add more talent.
But for the Nets, this is an easy decision: Thornton is an exciting slasher & scorer, but Shaun Livingston’s departure left a gaping hole in the team’s backcourt. Jack is an actual point guard, and averaged 5.2 assists per 36 minutes with Cleveland last year. It wouldn’t be any surprise to see him play combo minutes with Williams.
Even though Jack’s contract is a hefty one, it’s still smaller than Thornton’s on an annual basis, and he has no guaranteed money following the 2015-16 season, keeping Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant dreams alive too. So in the aggregate, the winner in this trade is fantasy!
The other piece in this deal for the Nets is Sergey Karasev. Let this first piece of information shock you: he’s Russian! So while the “Andray and Andrei” show is gone with the imminent departure of Andray Blatche, at least we’ve now got “The Kirilenko and Karasev Kool Kids Korner.” Aside from his ethnic background, Karasev is a 20-year-old (will be 21 when the season starts) 6’7″ shooting guard who saw little playing time in the NBA in first season but the Nets have always been high on. He’s known as an intelligent shooter with some combo guard skills, and shot nearly 40 percent from deep in the D-League last season.
The Nets have also given up their draft rights deals to Ilkan Karaman, Christian Drejer, and Eden Bavcic, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Christian Drejer was the 51st overall pick by the Nets in 2004 and retired from international competition in 2008, so that’s, uh, a loss. Eden Bavcic is 29 years old and was never expected to come to the NBA. Ilkan Karaman was drafted in the Tornike Shengelia draft and is a longshot to make it over. I’ve spent three more sentences on these guys than they probably deserve.
Most of the world will focus on the Cavaliers’ pursuit of LeBron James, and rightfully so. But this is the rare three-team deal that makes sense for all parties. The Cavaliers get the cap space to continue their LeBron dream, the Celtics get a first-round draft pick and the Tasmanian Thornton, and the Nets fill two roles without adding salary and give Andrei Kirilenko a buddy to talk to in the locker room.