Meet the Nets! Travis Outlaw

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Editor’s note: Hi everyone. This post was written by our new featured writer Artem Altman. He is the NJ Nets Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a contributor at The Fantasy Fix. For more of Artem Altman go here and here. Everyone make nice. We’re happy to have him.

Name: Travis Outlaw

Measurables: 6′ 9″, 207 lbs

Age: 26

2010-2011 Season Averages: 9.2 Pts 1.0 Assists 4.0 Rebounds .4 Blocks .4 Steals .9 TO’s

Contract details: Completed year one of a five year deal worth $35 million.

Prior to the 2010-11 season Travis Outlaw signed had signed a very lucrative deal that will average out to pay him around $7 million per season for the next five years.

Not bad for a player that averaged 9.9 PPG and 3.6 RPG for the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2009-2010 season?

And here I thought that the Nets would net themselves a starting small forward as the first signing of the Mikhail Prokhorov era; a player that had averaged 13.3 PPG and 4.6 RPG during the 2007-08 season and 12.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG in 2008-09.

I had been down on Travis Outlaw for most of last season, all the while being overly optimistic that he would figure things out and justify the deal that the Nets netted him to last summer. And for a little while Outlaw came close to living up to my expectations by averaging 11.5 PPG and 10.3 PPG through November in December on 2010, respectively.

In the following months, January, February and March, Outlaw didn’t average more than 8.6 PPG. Only in April did Outlaw go up to 10.4 PPG and that was just in eight games before the end of the season.

Outlaw began the season with 22 consecutive starts, but with a foot injury and inconsistent play throughout the season, Outlaw managed only managed 33 more starts over the next 60 games.

During the 2010-2011 campaign Outlaw shot a career low .375 percent from the field and .302 percent from beyond the three-point arc for a third-lowest season percentage in his career. All of these career lows came on a career-high 22.8 minutes per game.

While he’s is locked in with the Nets for the next four years because his contract makes him a very unattractive to most of the teams in the NBA, Outlaw needs to work on his game over the summer in order to get back to performing like he did with the Portland Trail Blazers just a few years ago. Playing alongside Deron Williams will certainly benefit Outlaw. Here’s to next season and to high hopes that Outlaw will prove that his $35 million contract won’t be a total bust for the Nets organization.