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Questions Surround Nets’ Free Agents

Will Deron Williams stay or will he go?

Brook Lopez wants to stay, but should the Nets sign him long-term?

What does the team do with its remaining cap space?

These are all tough questions that only time can answer. The Nets do have more flexibility than most teams and can make a splash in free agency. Unfortunately, this year’s free agent class pales in comparison to that of 2013.

And of course, everything hinges on Williams.

I think the allure of a new home in Brooklyn is enough to keep him from going to his first home in Dallas. So, let’s say he resigns and the contract starts at around $17 million. Lopez, a restricted free agent, signs the qualifying offer for $4.2 million, making him unrestricted in 2013. The Nets would have roughly $20 million to spend on remaining free agents, including Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries.

Wallace and Humphries are veterans most likely looking for their last long-term contract. If the Nets commit to them, their cap room is occupied and the dream of Dwight Howard is all but gone. The dream of any big time free agent is all but gone.

Here is what the Nets roster could potentially look like by the end of free agency:

Point Guard: Deron Williams ($17M), Jordan Farmar ($4.2M) Sundiata Gaines ($1M)
Shooting Guard: MarShon Brooks ($1.1M), Anthony Morrow ($4M)
Small Forward: Damion James ($1.3M) Gerald Green ($1M)
Power Forward:
Center: Brook Lopez ($4.2M), Johan Petro ($3.5M), Jordan Williams ($760,000)

You may notice a gaping hole at the power forward position, but there are many options that would be good fit for the team. Signing a guy like Ersan Ilyasova for the mid-level exception would be huge because the team would still have flexibility next year. A good one-year rental would be Antawn Jamison who proved he could still get it done in the twilight of his career. Other power forwards the team could consider are Jason Thompson, J.J. Hickson, and original Nets draft pick Ryan Anderson. Those players are all restricted, however, so their current teams can always match an offer.

The small forward position is a little tougher to gauge because Wallace is easily the best of the bunch. If the Nets don’t want to give him a long-term deal, they might have to depend on youngster Damion James, and journeyman Gerald Green, who played well in big minutes toward the end of the season. Other options include Matt Barnes, C.J. Miles, and Dominic McGuire.

MarShon Brooks played well in his rookie campaign, and is poised to be the starting shooting guard in the inaugural game at the Barclays Center. Anthony Morrow is a formidable backup and the team will likely sign someone to take DeShawn Stevenson’s spot.

The point guard and center position is set with Williams and Lopez starting, and Farmar and Petro off the bench.

There are many more questions about the Nets future that will slowly start to be answered. Some answers may come as soon as May 21, when the team’s first free agent camp opens. Others might take a little longer to unravel.

One thing is certain, the biggest question still revolves around Williams.

Will he stay or will he go?


Dan Lovi
Dan Lovi is a recent Hofstra University graduate with a B.A. in Print Journalism. He is a multi-faceted sports journalist who has covered everything from soccer to wrestling to cheerleading. His true passion is basketball and hopes to cover the NBA for a living. You can follow him on Twitter @DannyALovi.
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One Comment
  • DV

    Interesting read… naturally as a Nets fan I’m hoping that D-Will re-signs. Just a few things. Damion James is gone as the Nets have the team option for next season. Gaines is also likely gone not to be re-signed; he’s actually not under contract for next season and the Nets had MarShon handle the rock at the lead guard at the end of the season.

    I do think the Nets sign Bropez to a long-term contract, doing one of two things – 1) keeping him as a major piece of the core moving forward or 2) using him as an asset to Orlando, who would want a locked-up Bropez should they trade D12. I think, either way, the Nets would be happy to sign him long-term. Personally hope they keep him and he stays healthy.

    Lots of rumors about AK-47 and I do think he’ll sign. I could see the Nets using him and Gerald Wallace to slide in at the 3 and 4 spot in the rotation with a hopefully re-signed Gerald Green at the 2 and 3 spots. At the four, I’m kind of hoping they can re-sign Hump cheaper than this season, but for a longer term contract to even it out. If not, hopefully Ersan Ilyasova comes over for the MLE as you suggested, but he just may be asking for more since it’s slim pickings. OF COURSE if the Nets win the lottery, we’d have Anthony Davis to cheer for years! (Crosses fingers)

    Now, if only doesn’t accept his player option… in the D-Will scenario, it would be great to have Jason Kidd come back and back him up as it has been reported. Same agent. It’d start off BK with a bang, that’s for sure!