Brooklyn Nets

New York Notes: NBA Finals, Gaines, Mitchell, Draft

Personnel decisions by the Knicks and Nets helped turn the Cavaliers and Warriors into the NBA’s best teams, writes Fred Korber of The New York Post. New York gave Cleveland two much-needed pieces in J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert in a January 2015 trade that also involved the Thunder. Backup big man Channing Frye was drafted eighth overall by the Knicks in 2005, and reserve forward Derrick Williams spent time in New York. The Knicks were hoping Stephen Curry would fall to them with the eighth pick in the 2009 draft, but Kerber says they didn’t try to trade up because they didn’t believe the Warriors would take him at No. 7. New York has been through 23 point guards since then, and may be looking for another with Derrick Rose headed to free agency. Recent Golden State signee Matt Barnes was also briefly a Knick.

The Cavs’ bench is filled with players who have ties to the Nets. Richard Jefferson spent eight years with the team, including two finals appearances. Kyle Korver was drafted by the Nets in 2003 and shipped to the Sixers. Deron Williams spent nearly four years in Brooklyn before being bought out in 2015. Dahntay Jones signed a training camp deal last year, but was cut in preseason. The Nets sent the 35th pick in the 2012 draft to Golden State along with Troy Murphy in a 2011 deal that brought them Brandan Wright and Dan Gadzuric. The Warriors used that pick on Draymond Green. Shaun Livingston revived his career with the Nets in 2013/14, but they couldn’t afford to keep him and he signed with Golden State.

There’s more this morning out of New York:

  • Clarence Gaines Jr. is Phil Jackson’s secret weapon when it comes to draft preparation, writes Marc Berman of The New York Post. Formerly a scout with the Bulls, the vice president of player personnel was the first executive Jackson hired when he took over as team president. Gaines was a strong advocate for Kristaps Porzingis two years ago and pushed the team to sign Langston Galloway out of the D-League.
  • The Knicks have “more than a casual interest” in Louisville’s Donovan Mitchell, Berman writes in a separate story. At 6’3″, Mitchell was an undersized shooting guard for the Cardinals, but he projects as a point guard in the NBA. That’s a position of need for New York, which holds the eighth pick. That may be high for Mitchell, although he is reportedly rising on draft boards, but the Knicks might trade down and take him later in the lottery. New York’s front office requested an interview with Mitchell at the combine, though it wasn’t granted, and hopes to work him out before the draft.
  • Brooklyn, which has about $27MM in cap space available this summer, will see that figure trimmed slightly by the draft, tweets NetsDaily. If the Nets sign, rather than draft-and-stash, all three of their picks, it will cost them about $3.9MM — about $1.7MM for No. 22, $1.3MM for No. 27 and $852K for No. 57.

Nets Will Pursue Otto Porter, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

The Nets are planning an aggressive push for restricted free agents again, with Washington’s Otto Porter and Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as targets, tweets Keith Smith of RealGM.

It would be the continuation of a strategy that resulted in a four-year, $75MM offer sheet for Portland’s Allen Crabbe and a four-year, $50MM offer to Miami’s Tyler Johnson last summer. Both deals were matched by their current teams.

Similar offers this year would create financial dilemmas for the Wizards and Pistons, Smith adds (Twitter link).

Brooklyn has about $27MM in cap room right now and could easily get into position to offer a max deal to Porter or Caldwell-Pope. Most of that salary for next season is tied up in Brook Lopez ($22.6MM) and Jeremy Lin ($12MM), with eight players on the roster making between $1.12MM and $1.7MM.

A fourth-year small forward, Porter has been a starter in Washington the past two seasons. He averaged 13.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 80 games this year. Although the Wizards own his Bird rights, the team is in a bind with only about $7MM in cap space and the need to re-sign Bojan Bogdanovic and rebuild a faltering bench.

Caldwell-Pope has been Detroit’s starter at shooting guard for the past three and a half seasons and averaged 13.8 points per game this year. The Pistons are about $3MM over the cap entering this summer.

Diallo Drawing Interest As Deadline To Withdraw Nears

Hamidou Diallo hasn’t played organized basketball in nearly five months, but he’s drawing interest around the league, sources tell Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog (Twitter link). The Nets, Bulls, Bucks, Heat, Pacers and Jazz have all expressed interest in the athletic shooting guard.

Diallo is currently ranked as the 42nd best prospect in the draft, according to Jonathan Givony of Draft Express. Some believe he has a chance to move into the first round, as Zagoria writes in a full-length piece for The New York Times. “I would not be surprised if his combination of athleticism and skills opens some eyes, and then he’ll have a tough decision,” ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla said. ” Do you want to be the 25th pick in this year’s draft or do you want to have a chance to maybe be a top 10 pick [next year].”

The Queens native hasn’t yet made a decision yet on whether he will remain in the draft or play at Kentucky, Zagoria passes along in a full-length piece on his website. Diallo enrolled at the school to play for John Calipari in January but opted not to join the basketball team. He, like all prospects, has until tonight to make a decision.

Several Teams Interested In Otto Porter

The Wizards have no intention of letting Otto Porter walk in restricted free agency, but a bevy of rival teams will try to pry him from Washington, Sean Deveney of Sporting News reports. The Nets have long been interested in Porter and Deveney adds that the Sixers and Magic will consider making the small forward an offer this summer.

It was recently reported that an extension for John Wall will be at the top of the team’s list and the organization would like to get that done before moving onto other objectives, which include a Porter deal. One anonymous GM cautions that Washington shouldn’t wait too long to come to terms with the Georgetown product.

“If his situation goes past the first couple of days of free agency, it will cost them because some of these teams that have space and miss out on the players they have in mind to start with are going to move quickly to the restricted [free agents],” one GM told Deveney. “And Otto Porter is going to be at the top of that list, even at $100 million.”

The Mavericks had intended to pursue Porter, but that was before they acquired a restricted free agent of their own in Nerlens Noel. Deveney suggests that Dallas may not be looking to tie up its cap space on a rival restricted free agent while its own player is free to sign with other teams. Noel is expected to receive a lucrative offer from the franchise and once he signs with the team, nearly all of the team’s cap space will be exhausted. Then again, Owner Mark Cuban could always work out a verbal agreement with Noel, akin to what Detroit did with Andre Drummond, which would allow the Mavs to use its cap space on other players before circling back to a Noel deal.

Porter, who went to college in the Washington area and is comfortable in the city, has little reason to give the Wizards a discount, Deveney adds. It was previously reported that Porter could be a candidate for a max contract. The salary cap is projected to come in at $101MM next year, meaning the soon-to-be 24-year-old could command a starting salary of slightly over $25MM in a four-year deal worth north of $115MM.

Nuggets, Jazz Will Compete For Teodosic

  • The Nets will have stiff competition from the Nuggets and Jazz for the services of Euroleague point guard Milos Teodosic, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post. The Nets are among several teams scouting Teodosic, who plays for CSKA Moscow, and he’s their top free-agent priority, Lewis continues. The Nuggets already have a Serbian connection to Teodosic in Nikola Jokic, his national teammate. The Jazz will have a point guard need if George Hill leaves in free agency and coach Quin Snyder is a former CSKA assistant, Lewis adds.

2017 Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Brooklyn Nets

Still reeling from the 2013 trade with Boston that cost them a handful of first-round picks, the Nets entered the 2016/17 season as the odds-on favorite to lose the most games of any team. Sure enough, they delivered, posting a 20-62 mark as their top free agent addition (Jeremy Lin) battled injuries for most of the year.

With the Celtics still in control of Brooklyn’s first-round picks in 2017 and 2018, the Nets will be hard-pressed to add star talent, but GM Sean Marks will look to continue adding young pieces with a pair of draft picks in the 20s — and with the team’s max-level cap room.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Nets financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2017:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

  • None

Cap Holds

  • Randy Foye ($3,000,000)
  • No. 22 overall pick ($1,713,720)
  • No. 27 overall pick ($1,423,560)
  • Total: $6,137,280

Projected Salary Cap: $101,000,000

Maximum Cap Room: $33,209,882

  • With eight guaranteed salaries, two cap holds for first-round picks, and a pair of cap charges for empty roster spots, the Nets would have a team salary of $67,790,118. Their available cap room will dip a little if they keep some of their players with non-guaranteed salaries, as is expected, but they’d still have more than enough room to aggressively pursue at least one major free agent — perhaps an RFA, if they follow 2016’s blueprint.

Footnotes:

  1. Acy’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after July 16.
  2. Harris’ salary becomes fully guaranteed after June 30.
  3. Kilpatrick’s salary becomes fully guaranteed after June 30.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and The Vertical was used in the creation of this post.

Nets May Pursue Jonathon Simmons

  • The Nets may target Spurs forward Jonathon Simmons in free agency, according to NetsDaily. GM Sean Marks has identified small forward as the primary position of need, and Simmons has been outstanding in the playoffs. Simmons, who will be a restricted free agent, has averaged 16 points per game in the Western Conference finals and is shooting 40% from 3-point range. The website also says Brooklyn might be the team to gamble on oft-injured Harry Giles in the draft, and identifies the Sixers, Celtics and Jazz as teams that could be most willing to sell some picks.

Nets Still An Appealing Destination For Players

According to Nets guard Jeremy Lin, a total of five of his former teammates across stints with the Knicks, Rockets and Hornets asked him if Brooklyn would be willing to make a trade for them, Bryan Kalbrosky of HoopsHype writes.

Kalbrosky breaks down a Nets Daily report based on a translation of an interview that Lin gave to Chinese website JD.com.

The combined appeal of the Nets’ willingness to play together, the culture unfolding in Brooklyn and the presence of head coach Kenny Atkinson makes the franchise an intriguing one as the free agency period approaches.

The Nets are projected to have approximately $26MM of cap space this summer to fortify their roster and, yes, several of Lin’s former teammates will be available, including Patrick Patterson, Donatas Motiejunas, Thomas Robinson, Aaron Brooks and Omri Casspi.

Assistant GM Trajan Langdon Drawing Interest From Hawks

The Hawks‘ list of potential general manager candidates continues to grow, with Zach Klein of Channel 2 Sports in Atlanta reporting that the club is interested in speaking with Nets executive Trajan Langdon about the opening. Langdon, who currently serves as an assistant GM in Brooklyn under Sean Marks, was identified by ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz earlier this year as a front office “prospect” to watch. However, league insiders told Arnovitz at the time that Langdon may still need a few seasons with the Nets before he becomes a legit candidate to run an NBA front office.

Sixers Notes: Redick, Draft, Colangelo, Okafor

Clippers free agent J.J. Redick will get a lot of interest from the Eastern Conference, and the Sixers may be the leading contender, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. In a video posted on the Vertical website, several analysts offer their visions of the future for Philadelphia after winding up with the third pick in next month’s draft. Wojnarowski believes the Sixers will make a strong play for Redick, an 11-year veteran who would fill a position of need at shooting guard while bringing leadership to the locker room. Redick will probably receive offers starting at $16MM to $17MM annually, Wojnarowski predicts, and Philly’s strongest competition for him will come from the Nets, as well as the Knicks if they can clear enough cap room.

There’s more tonight out of Philadelphia:

  • The Sixers may try to trade down in the draft, suggests The Vertical’s Bobby Marks in the same video, because there isn’t a perfect fit for them at No. 3. They are believed to have interest in Kentucky guard Malik Monk, who could be available a few picks later. Marks says the Kings, who own picks No. 5 and No. 10, might emerge as a trading partner. He adds that Philadelphia also owns an unprotected Lakers pick next season, an unprotected Kings pick in 2019 and a pick from the Thunder in 2020 that is top-20 protected, all of which could be used as trade assets.
  • President of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo was planning a “measured, organic growth path” if the Sixers came away from Tuesday’s lottery with two picks, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Instead, the Lakers landed in the top three and got to keep their selection for another year, which leads Colangelo to a more aggressive approach that will involve seeking veteran help through trades and free agency. “We are going to have both opportunities available to us now,” he said. “We are going to look at all those alternatives, all those options.” Pompey lists Redick, Kyle Lowry, Otto Porter, Danilo Gallinari and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope as free agents the team might target.
  • Jahlil Okafor is an obvious candidate to be used as a trade chip, writes Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly. The second-year center has been a poor fit in Philadelphia since being drafted in 2015. Many observers expected him to be dealt at the February deadline, but Nerlens Noel was shipped to Dallas instead. “I want to find a situation that’s great for us and great for Jahlil, and if that means him staying here then that’s great,” Colangelo said. “He’s a great kid and a great player and we’re going to see how he fits with this group.”
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