EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Mehmet Okur admitted there was shock and a little confusion earlier this week when the nine-year veteran was traded for the first time.
But after a whirlwind 40 hours, Okur stood on the floor at the Nets' practice facility Saturday and allowed himself a weary smile.
"I'm happy and excited to be here and be able to play again with Deron Williams," Okur said. "It's good to be here. Good feeling."
The Nets and Williams, who played nearly six seasons with Okur in Utah, also are happy he's here.
"He's picking things up real quick," Williams said. "He's got a high basketball IQ, so things are going to come easy for him."
Okur was traded from the Jazz to the Nets on Thursday, the day after they lost starting center Brook Lopez to a broken right foot.
Okur stands 6 feet 11 and has a feathery outside touch -- his career average is 13.7 points per game -- adding another dimension to the Nets' offense.
But Okur's production has dropped off since averaging 19 points per game in his All-Star season of 2006-07.
There are questions about his durability.
Okur played only 13 games last season as he dealt with back troubles stemming from an Achilles injury. He ruptured his left Achilles in a playoff game on April 17, 2010.
The 32-year-old Turkish native said there are no lingering health issues. He proved it by averaging 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 30 minutes per game in a seven-game stint with Turkish club Turk Telekom in October and November.
"I feel great," Okur said. "I've been playing basketball the last four months. ... I came in with great shape and I'm ready to go."
Okur, who signed with Utah as a free agent in 2004 after helping the Detroit Pistons to a championship, never thought he'd start the season in New Jersey. But Lopez's injury changed that quickly.
"I got a phone call and they told me I got traded and I was like, 'OK,' " Okur said. "I was kind of like shocked and happy and I don't know what was going on. First time traded, so it's, I think, (a) normal reaction."
Saturday, Okur had his only practice with the Nets before today's season opener in Washington.
Coach Avery Johnson said Okur "did OK" at practice. Okur arrived in New Jersey about 1 a.m. Saturday and slept only two or three hours before practicing.
Johnson wouldn't say if Okur would start at center against the Wizards, but said he would get some minutes.
Okur said he wants to be an elite big man again. But with Lopez out for at least six to eight weeks, can Okur step in and replace most of Lopez's 20.4 points per game?
"Why not?" Okur said. "Deron especially had a lot to do with me being an All-Star. ... This is going to be another opportunity for me to play with him and some other good players. So that's my goal. I just want to go out there and perform (at a) high level again."