Deron Williams

One of the biggest moves the Nets made was convincing Andrei Kirilenko – one of the linchpins of those Utah teams alongside [Deron] Williams and [Carlos] Boozer – to sign for one year at the mini-midlevel exception, giving the Nets one of the league’s most versatile players as well as an excellent perimeter defender. Having Kirilenko will allow coach Jason Kidd to deploy all kinds of different and creative lineup combinations.

And Williams, who has remained friendly with Kirilenko since being traded from the Jazz in 2011, did his part to recruit his old running mate to Brooklyn.

“Once I saw that he had opted out and free agency was kind of drying up,” Williams said, “I was like, ‘Man, just come play for us for one year, and you can make more next year [in free agency].’

“[Kirilenko] has made a lot of money in his career, so it wasn’t about money. He wants to come to a team where he gets to have fun and has a chance to win, and I think he’s going to have a chance to play here and we’re excited about that addition. That’s as big of an addition as [Pierce and Garnett], if you ask me. “

Reported by Tim Bontemps of the New York Post