TUESDAY, 9:58am: The Nets would be willing to include the protected first-round pick the Rockets owe them to acquire Diaw's expiring contract, says Bonnell. Bonnell hears a potential Diaw package would also consist of Petro and Jordan Farmar. The pick Houston owes New Jersey is top-14 protected for the next five years.
Personally, I like this trade idea for both teams. The Bobcats may lose some short-term cap flexibility, but they'd gain another first-round pick and could shed Farmar's and Petro's contracts after next season. The Nets, meanwhile, would gain valuable cap space to pursue marquee free agents this summer.
MONDAY, 3:16pm: The Nets have expressed interest in acquiring Boris Diaw and his expiring contract, tweets Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Diaw, who hasn't appeared in the team's last four games, recently asked the Bobcats about the possibility of buying out his contract.
The Nets' interest in Diaw makes sense, since the team is looking to make a run at Dwight Howard this summer. If they hope to retain Deron Williams and Brook Lopez and make a competitive offer for D12, the Nets will need to clear all the cap space they can, and Diaw's $9MM contract will expire at season's end.
As Bonnell points out though, the hitch is what players the Bobcats would receive in exchange for Diaw. I'd guess the Nets would want Charlotte to take at least one of Johan Petro and Shawne Williams — Petro's contract is guaranteed for next season for $3.5MM, while Williams has a $3.14MM player option he figures to exercise. Neither player is under contract past 2012/13, so perhaps the Bobcats would be interested in taking on the pair if they came packaged with a future draft pick.