Jarvis Hayes signs with the New Jersey Nets.

Free agent forward Jarvis Hayes plans to sign a two-year contract with the New Jersey Nets, a league source with knowledge of the negotiations said Thursday night.

Hayes is expected to take the Nets’ bi-annual exception, which would pay him approximately $4 million over the two seasons. New Jersey officials spent time with Denver free agent Eduardo Najerja on Thursday night. Najera, 32, could be signed using part of New Jersey’s mid-level exception.

As the Nets begin rebuilding with a core of young players, Hayes, 26, gives New Jersey’s bench some veteran scoring pop and athleticism. After spending four years with the Washington Wizards, where Hayes had been a lottery pick in 2003, he played the past season with the Detroit Pistons.

Hayes, who is 6-foot-8, averaged a career-low 6.7 points in the regular season, and played a diminished role in the playoffs. He played just once in the Pistons’ six-game Eastern Conference finals loss to the Boston Celtics.

Still, Hayes has a three-point touch and the ability to defend the perimeter that intrigued several contenders, including the San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.

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~ by Travis on July 11, 2008.

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