Lopez, the Nets‘ leading scorer, had surgery Friday for a nondisplaced fracture. He was hurt in a preseason game against the Knicks on Wednesday and will be sidelined at least six weeks and probably more.
In the meantime, general manager Billy King acquired former All-Star center Mehmet Okur from Utah for a second-round draft pick, signed free agent guard DeShawn Stevenson and waived forward Ime Udoka.
It has one star, point guard Deron Williams, and a lot of new faces _ Okur, Stevenson, free agent forwards Shawne Williams and Sheldon Williams, rookies Marshon Brooks and forward Jordan Williams and holdovers Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, Damion James and Kris Humphries.
“Every day is a new day I tell our players,” Johnson said Friday. “When you get up in the morning you think about being a difference maker. You think about positive energy. Everybody is undefeated now.”
The Nets (24-58) probably aren’t going to stay that way long. They open on Monday at Washington and play 10 of their first 14 games on the road. The home opener is Tuesday against Atlanta.
“There is no surrender in how we react as coaches, how we approach practice,” Johnson said. “It’s not necessarily the situation we diagrammed going in, so we adjust. So if plan A doesn’t work, you have to go to plan B and C and that’s what we are doing.”
The big question is Okur, who is to practice with the team Saturday.
“We needed another guy to fill in, but he’s just not filling in,” Johnson said. “He’s a veteran player. He’s had a solid career so far. He knows how to play and how to pass. He’s still shooting the ball pretty good.”
Okur played in 13 games last season while recovering from Achilles and back injuries. The 32-year-old Turk has averaged 13.7 points and 7.1 rebounds in 617 career games with Detroit and Utah.
“He was shocked a little bit at first, probably my reaction, but he’s warming up to it and excited coming over, excited to play with me again,” Deron Williams said. “I’ll try to make the transition as easy as possible.”View Entire Story
By James A. Lyons
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