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Nets view Andrea Bargnani as low-risk move

Andrea Bargnani #77 of the New York Knicks

Andrea Bargnani #77 of the New York Knicks takes a shot against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, April 5, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

LAS VEGAS - Andrea Bargnani didn't live up to expectations in two seasons as a Knick, but Billy King isn't worried that will happen with the Nets.

The expectations for Bargnani are much different and lower on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge.

"We're looking at him coming in and being a piece of the puzzle," the Nets general manager said Monday before a summer league game against the New Orleans Pelicans. "We told him he's going to get an opportunity. There's no guaranteed minutes. But it's a great opportunity for us."

The Nets agreed on a two-year deal for the league minimum with Bargnani on Sunday. King is looking at it as a low-risk, potentially high-reward move for Bargnani, who never blossomed after being taken with the first overall pick by the Raptors in the 2006 NBA Draft.

"I really don't look back," King said. "We got to look forward. When we brought in [Andray] Blatche, we said you got a fresh start. It's a new opportunity. We always try to tell players when they come in: Don't worry about what happened. This is a new opportunity.''

Bargnani reportedly had a chance to sign for more money with the Kings, but wanted to stay in New York. The deal came together pretty quickly, and the 7-foot Italian fills a need for the Nets.

The oft-injured Bargnani won't be the first or second option offensively, as he was with the Raptors and was supposed to be with the Knicks. He averaged 13.9 points in 71 of a possible 164 games after the Knicks acquired him from Toronto for a package that included one first-round pick and two second-rounders.

Bargnani will back up Brook Lopez or play with him. He likely will come off the bench to spell Lopez or Thaddeus Young. "We're looking at it as what we're doing is we're giving him an opportunity and it's not costing us a lot of money to do that," King said. "There's no pressure on him. We're not asking him to come in and be a savior. We're asking him to come in and play basketball and provide the shooting and experience he has."

Bargnani has career averages of 15.0 points and 4.8 rebounds, but his NBA career has been marred by injuries, poor defense and not living up to the hype that accompanied him when he entered the league nine seasons ago.

Bargnani has played in 80 games only once in his career and has missed 191 of a possible 394 games in the past five seasons. His field-goal and three-point shooting percentages also have been on the decline. But with less pressure, King hopes Bargnani can produce and help the Nets.

"We felt we needed another big," he said. "When we started talking to him and he was available, we liked the fact that he could stretch the floor, give us three-point shooting. He could play with Brook, back Brook up, just give us some added depth. It just came about. Plan B was to find another big. He happened to be there."

Notes & quotes: The Nets traded point guard Steve Blake to the Pistons for 6-9 forward Quincy Miller. Miller, 22, has appeared in 69 games (16 starts) in three seasons with Denver, Sacramento and Detroit, posting averages of 4.3 points and 2.4 rebounds . . . The Nets waived Cory Jefferson (3.7 points, 2.9 rebounds) . . . The Pelicans beat the Nets, 89-83. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 18 points.

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