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10) Otis Birdsong
Birdsong played a pivotal role in the 1984 first-round upset against the 76ers, averaging 15.2 PPG throughout the playoffs. Birdsong was an all-star in that same 1984 season.
9) Richard Jefferson
Jefferson was a pivotal reason that the Nets made it to the NBA Finals twice. Jefferson spent seven seasons with the Nets, averaging 17.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
8) Vince Carter
Carter is known more as a Toronto Raptor but he had a couple of his best scoring seasons in Jersey. Carter was a three-time All-Star with the Nets (2005-2007) and averaged over 20 points per game over his short Nets career.
7) Drazen Petrovic
Petrovic’s career was ended tragically after just a few years in a Nets uniform, but damn he was something to watch on the offensive end of the floor. Petrovic averaged 20.6 points per game, shooting 51 percent from the field and 44 percent from the three-point line in his first season as a Net after coming to the team via trade with Portland. The following season, he averaged 22.3 points, shooting 52 percent from the field and 45 percent from behind the arc.
6) Kenyon Martin
Martin teamed up with Jason Kidd to led the Nets to their only two finals appearances. He averaged 15.1 PPG and 7.6 RPG with the Nets and remained consistent when it mattered most in the playoffs—sometimes even raising his numbers. In both of New Jersey’s trips to the NBA Finals, Martin averaged 17.9 PPG and 7.6 RPG.
5) Derrick Coleman
He was drafted in the first round and produced at the rate expected. He averaged a double-double of at least 18.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game four times in his five seasons with the Nets. His sophomore year was the lone setback on the glass as he grabbed only 9.5 boards. Coleman led the Nets to three postseason appearances, where he averaged 24.5 PPG and 13 RPG.
4) Rick Barry
Barry only played two seasons for the Nets but they were two of the hall of Famer’s best seasons. He posted scoring averages of 29.4 and 31.5 PPG in his two years and led the team to the ABA Finals in 1971-72, but the Nets ultimately came up short. Barry also made the All-ABA First Team twice as a member of the New York Nets.
3) Buck Williams
Williams averaged a double-double for his career as a Net. Throughout his eight years in New Jersey, he made the All-Star team three times in 1982, 1983, and 1986. He was also named to the 1981-82 All-Rookie First Team, 1982-83 All-NBA Second Team, and 1987-88 All-Defensive Second Team. The Nets made the playoffs in his first 5 seasons, they only won a series in 1984 upsetting the defending champion 76ers.
2) Jason Kidd
Really debated putting Kidd at number one as I think Erving was the better player, but Kidd’s tenure in New Jersey was much longer than the Doctor’s. Kidd made an immediate impact and in his career led the Nets to 2 NBA Finals appearances. His career averages as a Net are 14.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 9.2 APG, and 1.9 SPG. And he’s first in assists (4,620), first in three-pointers made (813), first in steals (950), fourth in points scored (7,373), and fifth in rebounds (3,662).
Erving played three seasons for the Nets and led them to 2 ABA Titles. In his three years with the organization in the ABA, he averaged at least 27.4 PPG, 10.7 RPG, and 5.0 APG. He was traded to the 76ers after his third year and went on to be possibly the greatest player in 76ers history eventually leading them to an NBA Championship.