Sun, Aug 08, 2004 - Page 23 News List

New Jersey Nets get Eric Williams in three-year deal

AP , EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY

The New Jersey Nets started the process of replacing Kenyon Martin on the front line by signing Eric Williams to a three-year, US$12 million contract on Friday.

Williams has averaged 9.2 points and 3.4 rebounds in nine NBA seasons. He split last season between Boston and Cleveland, averaging 10 points and 4.0 rebounds in 71 games.

"He is a quality NBA veteran who can play both forward positions," Nets president Rod Thorn said.

He also provides a presence on defense.

"I come in the game defensive-minded," Williams said. "I'm just trying to get my teammates to understand the defensive concept role."

Williams is from New Jersey and still has a house in Newark, which is about 20 minutes from Continental Airlines Arena.

Williams joins a club looking to rebuild after signing and trading Martin, an All-Star power forward, to the Nuggets, and then trading starting shooting guard Kerry Kittles to the Clippers. Both moves were to save money.

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