Avery: "It's a brand new day for Nets basketball"

Avery Johnson may be a little guy, but he has a big smile and, most importantly, big goals for the Nets. While Johnson is not forgetting the team's dreadful past, he knows that come Saturday, they'll be entering a new era (ProBasketballTalk.com). "I'm cautious, but I'm optimistic," Johnson said. "The last few years have really been some tough years for us. I just feel it's a brand new day for Nets basketball. More than anything, we're going to work. We're going to work hard and we're going to help these players to get better individually. Hopefully, collectively we can be a good team. There are not going to be many nights when we're going to be the most talented team out there, or the most experienced team out there. But we can make up for that with the way we work hard and pay attention to detail and (have) discipline and with guys just making plays." Tim Capstraw of NJNets.com calls Johnson "absolutely the perfect coach for a young, athletic group like the Nets have right now. He's highly motivational, he's no-nonsense, he's proven. He's got all the ingredients you want. He's changing the entire approach of this Nets team."

Johnson is also bringing some resolve to the team, but not only on the court (The Star-Ledger). He put his foot down that Derrick Favors is not being traded for Carmelo Anthony (New York Daily News) and played a little hardball with reporters, saying, "If you don't hear me say anything about you then it's not accurate." The latest report from ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard, who's been covering the Anthony trade talks closely, says that the Nets are aggressively trying to find a third team to make a deal. Working in their favor is Anthony's agent, Leon Rose, who wants the Nuggets to make a move before training camp begins next week.

You can follow Jared Zwerling on Twitter.