Offseason Outlook: Brooklyn Nets

Guaranteed Contracts


Non-Guaranteed Contracts

Free Agents / Cap Holds

Draft Picks

  • 1st Round (22nd overall)

Cap Outlook

  • Guaranteed Salary: $84,445,118
  • Options: $1,106,942
  • Non-Guaranteed Salary: $788,872
  • Cap Holds: $3,735,079
  • Total: $90,076,011

This time last year, the Nets were busy putting the finishing touches on a shiny new arena in Prospect Heights, but didn't really have a clue as to what kind of product they'd be putting on the floor in 2012/13.  In fact, there were only four players under contract for their inaugural season in Brooklyn with Deron Williams and Gerald Wallace holding player options.  Even though it seemed like things would get hot and heavy between the Mavs and the Nets' star guard, Billy King & Co. ultimately re-signed Williams thanks to the Joe Johnson deal and, depending on who you ask, Mark Cuban's decision to tend to his reality show rather than meet with his club's No. 1 free agent target.

Eighty-nine games later, the Nets have burned through two coaches and are seeking out someone who will put a sizable buffer between themselves and coach No. 4.  In a redux of 1999, the Nets made their pitch to land Phil Jackson but were quickly rebuffed.  Beyond the Zen Master, they find a very deserving longtime assistant in Brian Shaw and another infamous name from their own history – Larry Brown.  There's also the brothers Van Gundy (Jeff, Stan), possible darkhorse Mike Dunleavy Sr., and Deron's bestest friend in the whole wide world, Jerry Sloan.  There's no telling who the next hire will be for the Nets, but they'll presumably seek out someone who can push this team to play tough defense on a nightly basis and mix up the team's playcalling a smidge.  After all, you can only rotate between a Williams isolation play, a Johnson isolation play, and a Williams/Brook Lopez pick-and-roll so many times before the opposition wises up.

Making a change on the bench will only get Brooklyn so far, but it's going to be extremely challenging for this club to truly shake up this roster.  The trades for Johnson and Wallace gave the Nets a short-term boost, but their contracts make them nearly impossible to flip for younger talent.  Johnson will earn $70MM over the next three seasons while Wallace, who appears to be in decline and frustrated with his recent play, will make $33MM in that span.  

Kris Humphries, who had a very disappointing campaign, will also be hard to move as he is set to make $12MM next season.  A team may be willing to take on his expiring contract in hopes that he returns to his form of the previous three seasons, but the Nets will have to sweeten the pot with another piece to get anything of value in return.  The talented and under-utilized MarShon Brooks could help entice someone to take on Hump.  Last offseason's import Mirza Teletovic or 2011 first round pick Bojan Bogdanovic, who will reportedly join the club this summer, could also be decent trade chips.  None of those three players would guarantee a worthwhile deal, however.

The club struggled when it came to pairing someone in the frontcourt alongside Lopez.  When Humphries found himself on the pine, Reggie Evans stepped up and did the dirty work.  However, Evans' lack of offensive acumen makes it tough to give him starter's minutes, especially when he's sharing the floor with Wallace.  Re-signing the sometimes brilliant and sometimes aimless Andray Blatche will go a long way towards solidifying the frontcourt, but they'll need to address the power forward position in order to take a step forward next season.  Someone in the middle of the spectrum between Evans' balls-to-the-wall approach and Lopez's offensive mindset would suit them extremely well.  

Can they get a high caliber four with Humphries and a few shiny pieces?  Could Johnson or Wallace be moved for assets that can be useful in both the short- and long- term?  Neither seems terribly likely given the club's salary cap situation.  That's why the Nets' coaching search is so critical.  It could be the biggest impact move possible for this team.

Additional notes:

  • Beyond the starting five, the Nets may also be forced to retool their bench.  Blatche has said that he wants more consistent playing time, but his familiarity with Brooklyn could convince him to stay and see less burn.  The Nets were also the club that took a gamble on Blatche and got him back on track after he was amnestied by the Wizards.
  • C.J. Watson holds a player's option for the minimum but he will almost certainly decline it as he can get (at least) the minimum from anyone.  Watson would gladly be welcomed back to the Barclays Center but, like Blatche, the guard may choose to play for a team that will showcase him and improve his value beyond next season.  
  • Jerry Stackhouse has enjoyed an exceptionally long career but at the of 38, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him walk away from the game.  Keith Bogans is also a free agent and the Nets would like to hang on to him.

Cap footnotes:

  1. It's not known whether Joseph's contract for 2013/14 includes a partial guarantee, or whether it's fully non-guaranteed. 

Storytellers Contracts and Sham Sports were used in the creation of this post.

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