Nets Get Jack and Karasev in Trade With the Cavaliers

By Lenn Robbins | @lennrobbins

ORLANDO – Veteran point guard Jarrett Jack has wasted little time buying into the Brooklyn Nets.

“I actually talked to Deron [Williams] last night, just trying to figure out where guys live and get that thing sorted out,’’ Jack said on Thursday.

“We had a conversation. I’ve known Deron since high school, playing in various All-Star Games, and we were in the recruitment process together, so we both are excited to be teammates and not going against each other, and just looking forward to the season.’’

Jack, and Sergey Karasev, a talented young swingman, were acquired in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers that was finalized on Thursday. The Nets sent Marcus Thornton and the draft rights to Ilkan Karaman, Christian Drejer and Edin Bavcic to Cleveland.

With Shaun Livingston having signed with the Golden State Warriors, the Nets needed experience and depth at point guard. They got both in Jack, a nine-year veteran.

And they have a sharpshooter in Karasev, who has the potential to develop into a Kyle Korver-like threat.

"Jarrett is a proven NBA veteran who will add versatility to our backcourt," said G.M. Billy King. "The team had a need in that area and we are excited that we were able to secure Jarrett to fill that role.

“Sergey is a player who we have followed closely for several years. He is a versatile forward and will be a welcome addition to our roster."

For Jack, 30, the move from Cleveland to Brooklyn is a welcome one. The Cavs didn't make the playoffs last season. If they don’t get LeBron James to leave Miami, the prospects for the upcoming season aren't much brighter. The Net advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals. Center Brook Lopez is expected back after undergoing surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot. Joe Johnson is one of the most clutch shooters in the league.

“I’m tremendously excited,’’ said Jack. “There’s a lot of guys I have admired from afar that I can be teammates with now. I think that’s the most intriguing part.

“But I definitely think we have the potential to do some damage in the East and make some noise, and be the force that people expected Brooklyn to be last year.’’

Jack said he spoke to new Nets’ coach Lionel Hollins Thursday morning. The two already sound like kindred spirits.

When asked to describe his style of play, Jack said, “Just hard-nosed, play hard. I’m just going to try to bring it every night.’’

When Hollins was asked at his introductory press conference earlier this week about his preferred style of play he said, “I want to be tough, mentally.’’

Coach Hollins, meet Jack. Jack, meet Coach Hollins.

“I spoke to Coach Hollins this morning, and we really didn’t get into particulars about where in the rotation I’ll be,’’ Jack said. “I think players kind of control that themselves. When the time comes, you make the rotation, so to speak.

“I’m definitely trying to go out there and compete for a job, and whether that’s being in the starting lineup or coming off the bench, I’ll be happy to fit in any way possible.”

Jack gives the Nets exactly what they need – a veteran, versatile point guard. Jack can back up Williams or he can play the point, allowing Williams to slide to shooting guard. He has been the epitome of a solid point guard over his nine-year career. He’s averaged 10.9 points, 4.3 assists and just 1.7 turnovers. He has started and he’s come off the bench.

“I see myself being able to kind of relieve Deron at times of the ball-handling responsibilities,’’ Jack said. “And then just trying to create opportunities for myself or for my teammates.’’

Karasev, 20, is an intriguing prospect. The 6-7, 198-pound swingman was the 19th player selected in last year’s draft. He told that he’s texted fellow Russian Andrei Kirilenko, who was coached by Karasev’s father, Vasily.

“I know maybe it’s going to sound weird because I’m a young player but I think I can bring basketball IQ to the team and I can shoot the ball,’’ Karasev said.

“I can make my teammates better. I know I’m still young and I still need to work on all my skills in basketball but that’s what I can bring to the team.’’

NOTES: Jack, who played at Georgia Tech, is taking a leadership class that he said is the only class he has left to fulfill his requirements to graduate. Jack said he hopes to have a satisfactory grade by the end of the month and get his degree in September. Hard-nosed and smart.