Stevenson expected to sign Friday

By Christopher Hunt

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.Brook Lopez is out. DeShawn Stevenson is in.

It’s not official yet but Nets general manager Billy King said that Stevenson will arrive in New Jersey today and is expected to sign tomorrow. Too bad he doesn’t play center.

“He gives us a guy that has proven he likes to play defense and challenges guys defensively. Veteran presence that’s played the game and understands it. So from that standpoint, he’s won a championship, so he knows what they had to put in to win it.”

Stevenson was a strong defensive player and spot shooter in the Dallas Mavericks’ run to the NBA championship last season. Sources told ESPN the Magazine’s Chris Broussard that Stevenson will ink a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.

Deron Williams said that Stevenson was “definitely one of my suggestions.”

“A player like DeShawn brings toughness and defense, defensive-minded,” Williams said. “(He’s) another shooter that can space the floor. I think he’s going to be a good addition to our team, a guy that knows how to play basketball. He’s been in the playoffs year after year. He’s won a championship. He brings a winning attitude to this team, which is something we need.”

Stevenson brings some help and ruggedness to the Nets bench. The 6-5 swingman is often used to defend opposing teams’ best player. He has a reputation for being a feisty player but will add some big-game experience to a young roster.

“We need guys with high basketball IQ’s that are physically and mentally tough, that can guard multiple positions and knows how to play on the road,” coach Avery Johnson said. “We weren’t a very good road team last year so we need players that have had really good experiences with their previous teams of playing on the road and he had a lot of good road experience last year.”