Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets Rumor: Considering Signing a ‘Defensive Guy’


On Friday, Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com reported that the Brooklyn Nets are considering signing a ‘defensive guy.’ There are eight free agents that are listed as centers or forward-centers; including Jason Collins.

The Nets traded power forward Reggie Evans and shooting guard Jason Terry to the Sacramento Kings in exchange for shooting guard Marcus Thornton on Thursday, according to Ohm Youngmisuk and Marc Stein of ESPN.com. This has probably contributed to speculation that the Nets might sign Collins.

Mazzeo reported on Thursday that Nets’ general manager Billy King said, “We probably [will look] into rebounding and defense…”

The Nets rank 29th in the NBA with 39.0 rebounds per game, according to ESPN.com. A contributing factor for their rebounding struggles is center Brook Lopez being injured.

Lopez has only played in 17 games this season and none since Dec. 20. Prior to the season-ending foot injury, according to Youngmisuk, he was averaging 6.0 rebounds per game.

The Nets have been above average in points allowed per game. They are allowing the 12th-fewest points per game at 99.5.

According to Mazzeo, “Paul Pierce said recently that arguably the team’s biggest weakness is its defense when (Kevin) Garnett sits/rests.” There are four free agents that are listed at center that could be effective when Garnett needs a breather.

  1. Joel Przybilla: Pryzbilla is listed at seven-feet, one-inch tall and weighing 255 pounds on basketball-reference.com. He is a 15-year veteran who has not played since the 2012-2013 season. The one thing he is known for is his rebounding and blocks. He ranked seventh in blocks per game in the 2004-2005 season with 163 and has been ranked inside the top 10 in total rebound percentage three times. His statistics would not impress many people because he does not play a lot of minutes. He has not played more than 20 minutes in a game since the 2009-2010 season. The thing that stands out about him is his statistics per 36 minutes. Per 36 minutes, he has averaged 11.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game in his career.
  2. Johan Petro: Petro is listed at seven-feet, zero-inches tall and weighing 247 pounds on basketball-reference.com. He is a nine-year veteran who has not played since the 2012-2013 season. He is similar to Przybilla in terms of limited playing time and non-impressive statistics. Petro’s statistics are not as impressive as Przybilla per 36 minutes. Per 36 minutes, Petro has averaged 9.1 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in his career.
  3. Drew Gooden: Gooden is listed at six-feet, 10-inches tall and weighing 230 pounds on basketball-reference.com. He is a 16-year veteran who has also not played since the 2012-2013 season. Gooden has achieved the most success of the free agent centers. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie team, 2002-2003 season, and was named rookie of the month once during that season. Gooden was also named the Eastern Conference player of the week on March 18, 2012. He has averaged more than 20 minutes in 14 of his 16 seasons in the league. Gooden can not only be effectively defensively, but also offensively. He has averaged 11.8 points per game and 2.5 offensive rebounds in his career. This includes three seasons where he exceed 14 points per game; 2004-2005, 2007-2008 and 2009-2010. He has also been effective on the defensive end. Gooden has averaged 5.0 defensive rebounds and 0.7 blocks.
  4. Jason Collins: Collins is listed at seven-feet, zero-inches tall and weighing 255 pounds on basketball-reference.com. He is a 14-year veteran who has also not played since the 2012-2013 season. His statistics are worse than the others in rebounding and blocks; including per 36 minutes. Per 36 minutes, he has averaged 6.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in his career. Mazzeo gave a positive report about Collins and his playing ability.

While the 35-year-old veteran may not be the most skilled or athletic player, Collins became known around the league for his ability to do the little things like communicating on defense, boxing out, setting solid screens and mentoring younger pros.”

Collins has been widely talked about in the media for announcing that he is gay on Apr. 29, 2013, according to ESPN.com. It appears that numerous people want the Nets to sign him to a 10-day contract.

ESPN.com SportsNation listed a question on their website if the Nets should sign Collins to a 10-day contract. There have been more than 3,000 votes casted so far and more than 60 percent of people voted that the Nets should sign him.

It is unknown who the Nets are considering, but they worked out Collins earlier in the week in Los Angeles, according to Youngmisuk and Stein. He originally played for the Nets, then New Jersey Nets, from the 2001-2002 season to Feb. 4, 2008.

On Feb. 4, 2008, the Nets traded Collins to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for big man Stromile Swift, according to basketball-reference.com.

Collins would become a highly-talked about person if the Nets signed him to a 10-day contract.

Tags: Brooklyn Nets Jason Collins