Dec 22, 2011, 8:59 PM EDT
The Nets have landed a player Deron Williams is familiar with.
New Jersey traded for Mehmet Okur, bringing in the Turkish big man to fill in for the injured Brook Lopez. The Jazz get a second round pick and a trade exception out of the deal — and they get $10.9 million off the books.
Williams and Okur played together in Utah and ran a pretty good pick-and-pop when Okur was healthy. Last season Okur played just 13 games after recovering from an Achilles injury, but he did play during the lockout in his native Turkey and looked good according to reports.
Okur is fully healthy and was looking for a bounce-back year, closer to his 2007 All-Star year. He had impressed Jazz officials so far in camp, which is probably part of the reason he got traded. Okur gave the Jazz 17 points a game back in 2009 and is a career 37.7 percent shooter from three. He can stretch the floor, and while he isn’t a great rebounder neither is Lopez.
Enes Kanter, come on down, you’re the next contestant on “Jazz’s favorite big man.” The Turkish rookie is going to get a lot more run.
Okur is not the polished offensive player that Lopez is now (and he’s nine years older) but he’s a good gamble for a Nets team suddenly desperate to replace size and scoring on the roster. Okur