The Nets‘ ideal scenario is to keep Brook Lopez while making significant roster changes, writes Matt Moore of cbssports.com. That may be difficult from all sides, Moore notes. The players Brooklyn would most like to part with are Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, who both carry hefty contracts and figure to have few takers, although Johnson has just one year left at $24.9MM. Lopez, on the other hand, can opt out of his deal this summer and pursue free agency. Moore doesn’t see a perfect fit for Lopez as even young teams like the Wolves, Jazz and Magic seem set at center. He also questions whether Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov would be willing to pay the repeater tax next season with a disappointing team.
There’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The Nets won’t be getting much help through the draft for the rest of the decade, notes Robert Windrem of NetsDaily. He examines the status of Brooklyn’s first- and second-round draft picks through 2020.
- An expected jump in the NBA’s salary cap during the summer of 2016 could take away one of the Sixers‘ favorite bargaining chips, according to Tom Moore of Calkins Media. GM Sam Hinkie is fond of using Philadelphia’s cap space to broker trades between other teams, often picking up draft picks and players in the process. But if the cap soars as much as rumored — possibly to $87MM next summer and $100MM by 2017/18 — the Sixers’ space won’t be as much in demand. Moore points out that the expected changes could prompt Hinkie to use some of the team’s projected $35MM in cap room to pursue free agents this summer.
- Brad Stevens believes that attention to detail helped make him a better coach in his second year behind the Celtics‘ bench, writes Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Studying the intricate parts of the sport helped Boston avoid late-game breakdowns this season and post a 15-win improvement.