Nets sign Donte Greene, a worthwhile project

Donte Greene. (NBA.com)
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The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement to sign 6'11" Donte Greene to the veteran's minimum. The move is an intelligent one for the Nets, particularly given what they will pay Greene and what they will ask of him.

Greene just completed his fourth season with the Sacremento Kings, and is just 24 years old. And his N.B.A. career so far has been disappointing.

The Kings drafted Greene after just one year at Syracuse in the first round of the 2008 draft. He'd been solid with Syracuse, averaging 17.7 points per game and shooting 34.5 percent from three-point range, and he seemed like he might turn out to be one of those useful N.B.A. players who could use his size and quickness to create mismatches with power forwards.

Unfortunately, Greene hasn't developed, at all. He's shot under 30 percent from three in three of his four seasons, with his career low coming this past year, a putrid 23.8 percent. That dragged his overall shooting percentage to right around 40 percent, which isn't sufficient for regular playing time from a guy who doesn't rebound or pass all that well at this point.

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Greene is still big, still quick, and did cut down on his turnovers significantly last season. But he is a project; depending on him for regular minutes would be a mistake.

The Nets, however, aren't relying on him for much of anything; they have Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans and Mirza Teletovic all ahead of Greene on the depth chart, while fellow projects Tornike Shengelia and Ilkan Karaman will push Greene for time.

So if Greene figures it out, the Nets will be even deeper, and will be in a position to retain him next season. If he doesn't, they can just let him go at season's end.