by Marcel Mutoni

Nenad and his thinning hair are off to Russia, and there’s nothing you or anyone else can do to stop them.

Barring a last-second change of heart, Krstic will be playing in Moscow next season. The New Jersey Nets – who are about to watch a second player this month alone defect to Europe – don’t seem to mind losing their once highly-coveted big man too much.

From the Star-Ledger:

“Considering we’re losing a starting-quality player, it’s not necessarily bad, put it that way,” one high-level Nets official said. “He’s an awfully good player, but he has to get his confidence back, so maybe it’s a good thing.”

In other words, the Nets will watch him closely for the next year or two, take him back when he is ready or allow him to increase his trade value in the interim. And if Krstic doesn’t regain what he once had before December 2007 — when a torn ACL detoured his quest of becoming one of the most promising young big men in the league — they don’t lose a penny.

Overall, it’s not a bad deal at all for both sides: The 25-year old Krstic gets a decent payday, and the Nets don’t lose him to a rival NBA team (and retain his rights.)