FRIDAY, 10:22am: Karasev said today that he doesn’t want a trade and hasn’t asked for one, tweets Brian Lewis of the New York Post. He added that he “loves” the Nets, that he respects the opinion of his father but doesn’t share it, and that he’s spoken to Hollins about his father’s criticism of the coach, Lewis also notes (Twitter links). Hollins told Karasev not to worry about it.
THURSDAY, 12:49pm: Sergey Karasev wants the Nets to trade him, as his father said in an interview with Russia’s SovSport and as a league source confirms to NetsDaily. The Nets declined their team option on the fourth year of his rookie scale contract earlier this month, setting him up for unrestricted free agency in the summer ahead. His father said the swingman has begun to talk about trade scenarios, as NetsDaily relays from its translation of the SovSport report, but it’s unclear if he or agent Andy Miller has discussed the issue with Nets management.
Karasev, 22, has played just six total minutes across three games so far this season. His father blasted the Nets and coach Lionel Hollins for his scant playing time, pointing to his full recovery from a right knee injury that prematurely ended last season and wondering if “political” issues are at play, NetsDaily notes. Karasev and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov are both Russian.
Any team that trades for Karasev this year wouldn’t be able to re-sign him to a contract that gives him more than $2,463,754 next season, the value of the option that the Nets declined. His father acknowledged the possibility that Karasev will play in his native Russia come 2016/17, following in the footsteps of Russia’s Alexey Shved, who signed a deal worth $10.2MM over three years with Khimki Moscow this past summer that made him the highest-paid player in Europe, NetsDaily adds.
The Cavs originally drafted Karasev in 2013, and he played sparingly as a rookie, averaging 1.7 points in 7.1 minutes per game across 22 appearances. Cleveland shipped him to the Nets in a three-team trade that cleared the cap space necessary for the team to sign LeBron James in the summer of 2014. Hollins gave Karasev the starting nod in 16 of the 33 games he played last season, a year in which he posted 4.6 points in 16.8 minutes per contest with just 29.6% shooting from behind the arc.
It would be tough for the Nets to pull off a trade any time in the next four weeks, since most of the players who signed new contracts in the offseason won’t be eligible for inclusion in trades until December 15th. That doesn’t directly apply to Karasev, since he didn’t sign a deal this past summer, but finding other components for a swap prior to the middle of next month would likely prove troublesome. So, that ostensibly gives the Nets some time to try to repair their relationship with Karasev if they’re interested in doing so.
Which team do you think should try to swing a deal for Karasev? Leave a comment to let us know.