It’s widely assumed that the Nets will look into trading Joe Johnson and Jarrett Jack as cost-cutting alternatives to using the stretch provision to waive Deron Williams, write Marc Stein and Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.com. Trade talk has swirled around Johnson off and on since December, while the Nets likely would have dealt Jack to the Wizards if they’d closed a deal on a proposal to send Brook Lopez to the Thunder, as TNT’s David Aldridge reported in the wake of the deadline. Johnson has a whopper of an expiring contract that calls for a salary of nearly $24.895MM in 2015/16, while Jack is due $6.3MM next season with a partial guarantee of just $500K on the same amount in 2016/17. Stein and Mazzeo have more on the Nets, and while the full piece is a must-read for Brooklyn diehards, we’ll pass along a few highlights here:
- Some executives from opposing teams figure the Nets will explore the trade market for Mason Plumlee, too, Stein and Mazzeo hear. The Nets were reportedly unwilling to give up Plumlee in a proposal that would have sent Williams to the Kings in December, though GM Billy King said this month that the Nets looked into the idea of trading every player on the roster at some point this past season. Plumlee’s role on the team decreased after the acquisition of Thaddeus Young and the resurgence of Lopez.
- People around the league continue to doubt the idea that Mikhail Prokhorov doesn’t want to sell a majority stake in the Nets, according to Stein and Mazzeo. Josh Kosman and Claire Atkinson of the New York Post reported in March that Prokhorov had ended efforts to do so while Prokhorov said the next month that he had never tried. Stein and Mazzeo cite “persistent rumbles” around the league that the reason Prokhorov isn’t actively trying to sell the team is that he would also have to sell his share of the Barclays Center as part of the deal, a detail that Daniel Kaplan and John Lombardo of SportsBusiness Journal reported in February. However, a sports banker who spoke with Kosman and Atkinson disputed that there was any such mandate that Prokhorov would have had to bundle the team and the arena.
- Stein and Mazzeo figure the Nets will indeed consider waiving and stretching Williams, yet they believe Brooklyn will ultimately decide against doing so.