NJ Nets veterans keeping in touch with agents as futures remain uncertain

Bobby Simmons talked to Mark Bartelstein last week.

Trenton Hassell talked to his agent – the very same Bartelstein – three days ago.

Tony Battie called Lon Babby Tuesday afternoon.

Josh Boone said he talked to his agent – a New York guy named Robert Fayne – last weekend.

Jarvis Hayes rang up Dan Fegan a while back, but Hayes is the type who doesn’t want to hear anything.

Maybe that’s the hidden benefit about the Nets’ roster overhaul: It’s really great for Verizon and Sprint.

But seriously, folks:

“This isn’t my first rodeo,” Battie said. “I’ve been traded before. I’ve heard the rumors before. I’ve heard the rumors and was traded the next day. I heard the rumors and stayed where I was for the whole year.

“You just have to stay professional and carry on in a professional manner.”

And call your agent every day or two, because he may have a clue what the future holds.

None of the veteran Nets with expiring contracts know whether they’ll be playing for another team before the trade deadline, which is a month and two days away, but they know this much:

“We’re players, and we like consistency with our jobs. But overall, it’s out of our control,” Simmons said. “We all talk about it, but that doesn’t get you anywhere. Whatever management’s plan is, they’ll never tell us. As long as we play at 100 percent every night, that’s what they want from us.”

Many of these guys don’t even get to play. Battie and Simmons were inactive Friday night, even though both looked perfectly fine during the morning shootaround. But the Nets have little use for some (most) of them – not because they’re not serviceable players who accept their roles, but because they aren’t part of the young core of seven guys the team wants to develop.

So they show up at work every day, and wait by the phone every night. What they hope for, they’d rather not say.


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