Reports that the Nets had the inside track on Aaron McKie were premature writes the Newark Star-Ledger’s Dave D’Alessandro :
Aaron McKie gave the Nets the thumbs-down yesterday, refusing their one-year offer to accept a two-year, $5 million deal with the Lakers.
The 6-5 swingman, a recent amnesty cut by Philadelphia, was the Nets’ primary target to fill their backup wing slot, but their offer of the veteran’s minimum (one year, $1.1 million) was blown out of the water by Phil Jackson, who has an extraordinary track record for extending the careers of big guards well past their prime.
“The bottom line was that it was too good to turn down, and an excellent opportunity for Aaron from the standpoint of having a major role,” agent Leon Rose said last night. “And it helps that Jackson uses veteran guards (Brian Shaw, Ron Harper, et al.), another factor that came into play.
Among the available free agents who can handle the role intended for McKie are Devin Brown and Greg Buckner, though the Nets have not pursued either player so far in this off-season.