EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New Jersey Nets have reached an agreement in principle with free agent forward Travis Outlaw of Starkville on Thursday.
A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that Outlaw got a five-year deal worth $35 million. The person requested anonymity because financial terms of the deal were not being disclosed.
Outlaw played 34 games with the Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Clippers last season. He averaged 9.9 points and 3.5 rebounds with the Trail Blazers and 8.7 points and 3.6 rebounds with the Clippers.
The agreement was the Nets’ first since free agency started last week, and it’s not even close to being one that would excite New Jersey fans after winning just 12 games last season.
The wish list for new owner Mikhail Prokhorov and president and general manager Rod Thorn included LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade with Rudy Gay heading the fallback position.
Gay re-signed with Memphis. Wade stayed in Miami, and Bosh is joining him there.
All that is left among the franchise players is James, and the Nets aren’t the favorite to get the two-time MVP when he announces his future plans on television Thursday night.
The Nets also courted Utah forward Carlos Boozer but were outbid by the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
That left the Nets with $30 million to spend on free agents, and they started spending it by getting Outlaw to come to New Jersey.
“We are very pleased to add Travis to our roster,” Thorn said. “He is a young, athletic player who will fit in very well with the style of play that Avery has installed.”
A seven-year veteran, Outlaw was Portland’s first-round draft pick (No. 23 overall) in 2003. He has played in 400 career games, averaging 9.5 points and 3.4 rebounds in 22 minutes while shooting .441 from the field and .363 from 3-point range. In six career playoff games, he averaged 9 points and 3 rebounds.
His best season was in 2007-08, when he averaged 13.3 points and 4.6 rebounds.
Tom Canavan/The Associated Press