Nets sign veteran free-agent forward Luis Scola to 1-year deal

ByMike Mazzeo ESPN logo
Wednesday, July 13, 2016

LAS VEGAS -- The Brooklyn Nets added some veteran leadership to the mix Tuesday, reaching a one-year contract agreement with forward Luis Scola, a source confirmed.

"I've known Luis since my days with the Rockets, and he's not going to talk a whole heck of a lot but he's going to lead with his work ethic and how he gets after it," Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. "I like how Luis has started to spread the floor, and he's just the ultimate competitor, the ultimate warrior. He's 36, but he's been healthy his whole career because of how well he prepares and how well he takes care of himself. We're excited about having him."

Scola started 76 games for the Toronto Raptors last season, averaging 8.7 points and shooting 40.4 percent from 3-point range. But he struggled in the playoffs, averaging just 2.5 points on 19 percent shooting from beyond the arc as he moved in and out of the rotation.

The rebuilding Nets have added Scola, Jeremy Lin, Trevor Booker, Justin Hamilton and Greivis Vasquez this offseason, although Portland and Miami matched their offer sheets to restricted free agents Allen Crabbe and Tyler Johnson.

Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks' Plan B seems to be adding players on short contracts to maintain salary-cap flexibility moving forward.

Scola is the oldest player on Brooklyn's roster by seven years. Vasquez is 29.

The agreement was earlier reported by The Vertical.

Scola figures to battle for the starting power forward spot with Trevor Booker, who signed a two-year, $18 million deal with Brooklyn.

"I think we're going to let it play out," Atkinson said. "I know those guys wouldn't want it any other way. I think they're two competitors, they understand the NBA and they're going to battle it out and compete for the spot."

Booker, who briefly watched the Nets' summer league game on Tuesday, explained why he chose Brooklyn.

"It was a great opportunity for me," Booker said. "With Sean coming in place, they've got Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez down low, I thought it was a great opportunity for me. Sean came from the Spurs' organization, which is the top organization in the NBA, and I've known him for a little while now and I know he's a very smart guy and I believe in the direction that he's going to take the organization."

Asked about potentially starting, Booker responded, "It's not going to be given to me. I'm going to go in with the mindset that I want it, so we'll see."

Booker, 28, said he plans to bring hard work and leadership to the Nets.

"That's what's kept me in the league so far, and I look to bring the same thing here," he said. Atkinson said he'd like second-year pro Chris McCullough to push the veteran power forwards as well. He likes the diversity and skill sets at the positions.