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Nets shed salary, send Jackson to Hornets

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The New Orleans Hornets added frontcourt
depth Thursday by acquiring forwards Marc Jackson and Linton
Johnson III from the New Jersey Nets for forward Bostjan Nachbar.

"Both of them are physical. Both of them are aggressive,"
Hornets coach Byron Scott said by telephone. "It just gives us a
different look."

The Hornets had been looking to add depth in the frontcourt even
before forward Chris Andersen was disqualified from the NBA last
month for violating the league's drug policy. They got even more
needy when Jackson Vroman broke his right wrist Wednesday following
a dunk against Utah.

The Nets, meanwhile, were able to create some salary space with
the deal.

"This enables us to get under the luxury tax, which was part of
it," team president Rod Thorn said. "Nachbar's a good athlete who
has had some moments in the league. We're hopeful he can give us
some help on our bench."

Jackson, a 6-foot-10 forward, was averaging 4.6 points and 2.6
rebounds in 37 games off the bench for New Jersey. In six NBA
seasons, he is averaging 8.5 points and 4.4 rebounds.

Jackson had publicly hinted at wanting to be traded in December,
and his minutes had dropped steadily since January to the point
where he appeared in only five of the team's 13 games in February.

"Marc Jackson is a banger, a very physical guy who can make
shots," Scott said.

Jackson, 31, averaged 12 points and 5.0 rebounds in 81 games,
including 23 starts, for Philadelphia last season.

"I don't think we can hope for that much. He'll be playing in a
backup role here," Scott said.

Johnson, a 6-8 forward, has played in only nine games for the
Nets, averaging 1.2 points and 0.8 rebounds in 3.9 minutes. He and
Jackson join veteran forward Aaron Williams, who was acquired from
the Toronto Raptors last month, as the backups to David West and
P.J. Brown.

Vroman had helped fill that role following Andersen's dismissal.
He started the last two games as leading scorer West was away with
his wife and newborn child. Vroman was averaging 1.8 points and 2.1
rebounds, but will miss the rest of the season.

Nachbar, 25, started the first 13 games for the Hornets before
spraining his right knee in November and missing six weeks. Desmond
Mason, who was acquired in a preseason trade, supplanted Nachbar in
the starting lineup and Rasual Butler's development as a dependable
reserve left the 6-foot-9 Slovenian relegated to infrequent duty
off the bench.

His role picked up the past two weeks, when he averaged 5.5
points over the past six games, including two 11-point
performances. Nachbar averaged 5.0 points in 23 games overall this
season.

"We would have loved to get a big without giving up anybody,
but you've got to do what you've got to do," Scott said.

Scott said the Hornets were close to another deal, but ran out
of time before the deadline at 3 p.m. EST deadline.

Thorn said the Nets spoke with several other teams Thursday but
were unable to make any other deals. New Jersey holds two
first-round picks in the 2006 draft.

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