The Oklahoma City Thunder has signed Nenad Krstic to an offer sheet, and the New Jersey Nets now have until Tuesday, Dec. 30 to match or decline the reported three-year, $15.8 million contract.
General Manager Sam Presti declined to comment since Krstic’s rights are still held by the Nets. But Krstic, who was playing this season in Russia, could join the Thunder as early as Dec. 31 against Golden State if the Nets decline. Krstic, the 24th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Nets, is averaging 10.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in 21 minutes per game in Russia. Before leaving the NBA this summer, Krstic held career averages of 11.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.7 blocks in four NBA seasons, all with the Nets. Krstic averaged 16.4 points and 6.8 rebounds in 2006-07 before a knee injury in December limited him to 26 games. The Nets are believed to be uninterested in matching the Thunder’s offer to the 25-year-old center. New Jersey currently has 15 guaranteed contracts, a stable of talented young big men and is trying to clear salary cap space for the highly anticipated free agent class of 2010 that could potentially include LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire.