Nenad Krstic off to Moscow

Nenad Krstic off to Moscow

By: NBASCOUT / Special to

At the stroke of midnight the carriage turned into a \’pumpkin.\’ There was no Cinderella story here. Nenad Krstic is a Net no more!

The \’glass slipper\’ is that the Nets retain his rights (as long as they make qualifying offers). If he works himself back to his old form overseas, the \’silver lining\’ could be a return to the team where he established himself as one of the up-and-coming players to be reckoned with in the NBA before injury took its toll.

Reports circulate that Agent Marc Cornstein\’s wife and Assistant, Natasha, confirmed the signing with the Russian team, Triumph, indicating \”they made him an offer that he couldn\’t refuse.\” That settles that!*

Apparently, no other sufficiently competitive offer presented itself before the player-imposed deadline of midnight despite all parties working feverishly into the night to make something happen. Rumors abound that Memphis, Chicago or Cleveland were in the mix, but none could put together a deal in time.

It seems that at the end of the day, the market wasn\’t there. There simply wasn\’t enough cap space in the league to go around. Moreover, Teams were acting more conservatively with their MLEs on players coming off injury, preferring to split them, rather than shoot the entire wad.

As it turned out, there were apparently discussions with Memphis and others about offering a package that included some players like Kyle Lowry or Javaris Crittenton (something the roster-filled Nets were loathe to accomodate for the moment). There was also talk of Chicago sending a pick and trade exception to the Nets for Nenad. For the most part, though, no talks reached fruition. It seems that the biggest issue was teams wanting the Nets to take some bad contracts back.

More time was needed by all the parties in talks to put together a workable deal – if one was to happen – but Nenad\’s side was afraid the Russian offer would go away! It\’s not as if Krstic hadn\’t been a restricted free agent since July 1!

AND NOW … the much beloved … 7-foot, 25-year old former Nets Center … named Nenad Krstic … WILL, indeed, be plying his trade in the frozen winters of Moscow! Let\’s hope that he fares better than Napoleon and returns triumphant. [Is that what they call a Triumph team member?]

In any event, it\’s been a harrowing time for Nenad and those close to him trying to figure out what he was going to do and where he was going to land. In the end, 6 million Euros won him over. With European teams absorbing the taxes their players would otherwise be liable for, that works out to the equivalent of about a $9 million per year (pre-tax) contract in the US, that he would have had to have landed, in order to match that sum in the NBA.

At this stage of Nenad\’s career, it is better for him to put away some money! One thing\’s for sure: Players from Europe who establish themselves in the NBA tend to earn far more overseas because they are viewed as premium players.

Notes: One of the big problems here is that teams are often slow to work deals because they can often be so hard to put together. Nenad\’s frustration with being in limbo grew and he abruptly delivered a brief ultimatum with a deadline that wasn\’t enough for the Nets and anyone else to get a deal done before he was compelled to say \”DA\” and whisked off to Russia.

Exhausted with everything else the Nets were trying to accomplish in a very busy summer overhaul, management probably couldn\’t move fast enough with their Euro-talent. That includes Boki. Patience wore thin and the Russian club pounced with an enticing offer calculated to land Krstic before any NBA club could react. Inded, that\’s what happened.

Nonetheless, Nenad will be more valuable if he returns to form overseas and can likely return to the NBA if he wants. His rights will be of value as a proven NBA performer who played at a high level.

Triumph Lyubertsy (formerly known as Dynamo Moscow Region) is a Russian professional basketball club from Lyubertsy, playing in the Russian Super League. Their home court is SH Triumph. Nenad Krstic will be their starting Center.

We guess that Nenad Krstic fans can merely tune in to the Russian League\’s games to pick up important information about how Nenad is doing. That is, of course, if you have a strong antenna or the Russian Channel from your cable-provider. 🙂

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2008 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at

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