The Cleveland Cavaliers engineered a trade this summer with the Nets that gave them the cap space to re-sign forward LeBron James to a maximum contract, shedding Jarrett Jack’s $6.3 million salary. To facilitate the deal, the Cavaliers also sent the Nets 20-year-old Russian prospect Sergey Karasev, who the Nets coveted in the draft but went a few picks early.
Karasev isn’t a high-profile athlete, so we haven’t heard much from him since the trade. But Alexander Chernykh of Rush’n Hoops translated an interview with Karasev with Nikolay Mysin of Sovetsky Sport, which touched on Karasev’s new role, new team, and new apartment.
What do you think about your trade?
It’s been over a month, but I still have mixed feelings. On one hand, Cleveland gave me a lot during my first season in the best league in the World. On the other hand, I understand that given the current situation in both teams, including the current rosters, in Brooklyn I have a better chance to start playing. Of course, this is all just on paper for now – nobody guarantees that I will be getting minutes regularly. There’s only one way: bust your back and prove your worth.
And still, in New York you will be playing next to Andrei Kirilenko.
Of course! This is a great plus of this relocation. Andrei is always ready to help on and off the court.
He said that Lionel Hollins will give you a chance to show what you can do.
So far I have only talked to coach for five or ten minutes in Orlando where I joined the team for the last game of Summer League right after the trade. But we didn’t have the time to discuss anything. We will talk in autumn, when I come back to New York from the national team. Then Lionel will let me know what he expects from me. And I will bend over backwards not to disappoint the coach.
After staying in Ohio, doesn’t New York scare you with all its temptations, traffic jams and fast paced lifestyle?
Oh, you better not stay in this city for more than two or three days – you get very tired. (Laughs). It’s beautiful and interesting, yes. But I don’t want to live there. This is why I rented an apartment in New Jersey – it’s calm and quiet and it’s close to the Nets practice facility where the team spends 80 percent of the time. Though the place is empty for now, there is no furniture or appliances. I will make myself at home when we are done with Eurobasket qualifiers and I leave to get ready for the NBA season.
Karasev’s smart to live in New Jersey for the time being. The Nets still practice in Rutherford for one more season before the scheduled opening for their lavish practice facility in Industry City, Brooklyn for the 2015-2016 season. The Nets don’t have any players living in Brooklyn as of now — though we’ve heard that one may make the plunge this year — and the cost of living in Manhattan has skyrocketed so much that even an NBA player on a rookie contract might not find the space he wants.
Karasev didn’t get much playing time with the Cavaliers, and spent much of the season with their D-League affiliate Canton Charge. But that won’t be the case this year: the Nets no longer have a D-League affiliate, as the Springfield Armor were sold to a group that moved them to Grand Rapids, MI.