So What’s Next in Free Agency

Four days of free agency are in the books.  And believe it or not, the Nets have added seven new players, the most notable being Jeremy Lin.

At this time, the Nets have twelve players on their  roster; thirteen if Miami declines to match the Nets’ offer sheet to Tyler Johnson (they are able to, and it will simply come down to what choice they make: we will find out on Sunday, July 10).

The roster, including Tyler Johnson, reads as follows:

PG: Lin, Whitehead, Ferrell

SG: Johnson, LeVert, Kilpatrick

SF: Hollis-Jefferson, Bogdanovic

PF: Booker, McCullough

C: Brook, J. Hamilton, E. Mockevicius

With these players in house, the Nets have $71,536,852 in salary commitments, pending whatever they decide to pay Isaiah Whitehead (will likely fall under $700,000), and the partial guarantees to Yogi Ferrell and Egidijus Mockevicius.  That figure includes Johnson: during the July 7-July 10 three day “matching” period Miami has to think things over, Johnson counts as a salary on the Nets cap, for salary cap purposes.  With a salary cap of $94.143 million, that leaves the Nets with $22.6 million to spend, less the small commitments to Whitehead, Ferrell, and Mockevicius.  And with 2-4 roster spots to work with (they could always waive Ferrell and Mockevicius), subject to trades.

So, what comes next for Brooklyn?

I. Tyler Johnson?

This is an easy one.  The Nets cannot ink Johnson to his offer sheet until July 7; the league is in a “moratorium” during July 1-6, which essentially means that pen cannot be put to paper. Once the Nets ink Johnson and deliver the offer sheet to Miami on Thursday, July 7, Miami will have 72 hours to match or decline the offer.  Johnson is a Net if the Heat don’t match, or a Heat if the Heat match.

II. Allen Crabbe?

David Pick of Bleacher Report reported that Crabbe signed a 4 year, $70 million offer sheet that Portland did not intend to match (Crabbe, like Johnson, is restricted; his deal with any non Portland suitor will be governed as the Nets deal with Johnson is).  However, the report was then refuted by Sam Amick of USA Today.  In short, it appears Crabbe will meet with teams, possibly including the Nets, this week.  Whoever signs him to an offer sheet will deliver it to the Blazers for their right to match to trigger.  On one hand, the Blazers paid Evan Turner, and may pay a center, which does cut into their resources.

On the other hand, the Blazers could in theory open nearly $30 million in cap space, right now.  They like Crabbe a lot, as they should: he is their third best young player, after Lillard and McCollum.  The chances they match are greater than the chances the Heat match on Johnson, and part of restricted free agency is not just identifying talent, but also identifying talent that the incumbent team may not match on.  To extent an offer to say to a free agent upon whom the incumbent will certainly match is to tie cap space up for three days and waste your time.  Crabbe clearly fits the Nets program, but I know that if I were in the Blazers front office, I would match an offer sheet in the $70 million range in a heartbeat.

III. A Bojan Bogdanovic Trade

There have not been ANY rumors of a Bojan trade by the Nets.  Nevertheless, the idea of dealing Bojan is something to monitor.  First, the Nets have added multiple wings or combo guards to the roster, in Johnson (if Miami balks at matching), LeVert (who they clearly have invested significantly in given the Thad deal), and Kilpatrick prior to the start of free agency.  While the initial Crabbe rumors did not pan out, it does appear the Nets are at least interested in obtaining Crabbe.  That makes for a lot of wings.  Not only is that a lot of wings, but it represents a clear intent to obtain multiple wings who can guard multiple positions, and play both ends of the floor.

Bojan does not fit the bill as a two way player, and in acquiring so many new wings, the Nets may be signaling that he is either not a part of their future, or that he can be had.

Couple the above with the fact that Bojan is a free agent next summer, and one sees that the Nets are in a position where they will either (A) trade him for assets or pieces that fit the roster; (B) let him walk for nothing; or (C) pay him.  And on this market, where Jon Leuer got 4 years, $42 million as a barometer example, that contract would be substantial – especially with the cap spiking again next summer.

If the Nets deal Bojan now or soon, they avoid losing an asset for nothing or being forced to pay the asset.  And when one considers how many players at Bojan’s position are being acquired, and that he does not fit the profile of those players, a deal certainly is possible.

Again, there is no report or anything to suggest the Nets are shopping Bojan.  But this is something to monitor.

IV. What Else?

With around $22 million in cap space, the Nets do have some options on the market.  One thing to consider: the Nets would owe, at this point, $70,377,568 to their players in 2017-2018, before figuring in a deal for Whitehead (likely under $1 million).  If the cap is set at $111 million, the Nets could have $40 million or so in cap space, but the cap may be set at a lower number — and $35-$40 million will not go too far in a market like this one.  That salary figure comes with every Net on the roster as back, except Bogdanovic (this is why paying him is difficult from a math perspective), Ferrell, and Mockevicius.  It assumes the Nets exercising tiny team options on RHJ, McCullough, and Kilpatrick.



With that in mind, the Nets should not exercise their right to exhaust too much of their current cap space on multiyear deals, unless the players they get can be part of the core going forward.  The current core is not close to contention level, so the Nets need to be watchful of how much they cut into future flexibility.

With that in mind, here are some sleeper free agents:

Tyler Zeller: Zeller was a quality power forward in Boston last year who can be more than useful on both ends.  With Boston adding Horford, having Olynyk, and facing decision time on Zeller, Sullinger, and Amir Johnson, maybe Zeller is the odd man out.

Meyers Leonard: A big Portland likes, but much easier to coax a non match here than with Crabbe.  Leonard can shoot the ball, and could be ready for a reasonably large role.

Dewayne Dedmon: He has upside as a big man bruiser. There is a reason the Warriors wanted him.

James Michael McAdoo: The Warriors like him a lot. Played competent finals minutes. Has upside as a two way wing.

Tim Frazier: Played quality point guard for New Orleans amidst injuries.  Ennis was useful and they let him walk; maybe the same happens here.

James Johnson: Limited, but a good wing defender Toronto never gave much of a chance.  Fits the player profile Brooklyn has been adding.

Ian Clark: He’s only 24 and gave Golden State competent minutes last year. Some want to see what he can do in a bigger role. A small deal could be worth it.

One year flier candidates: Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas: Both have struggled big time in Houston since 2014. Maybe there is hope.  But I would only offer a one year deal in trying to find out.

Veteran Mentors: Leandro Barbosa, David West, Anderson Varejao, Tayshaun Prince: Barbosa is still useful and the Warriors can’t quite pay everyone.  West may put money first this time around and would make a great teacher. Varejao will show kids what it means to put it all on the line.  Many of the team’s young wings are in the mold of a young Tayshaun Prince.

The Full List of Free Agents:

  1. LeBron James
  2. Dwyane Wade
  3. Allen Crabbe
  4. Dirk Nowitzki
  5. JR Smith
  6. Dion Waiters
  7. Festus Ezeli
  8. Jared Sullinger
  9. Lance Stephenson
  10. Matthew Dellavedova (offer sheet w/Bucks)
  11. Tyler Johnson (offer sheet w/Nets)
  12. Tyler Zeller
  13. Terrence Jones
  14. Donatas Motiejunas
  15. Langston Galloway
  16. Maurice Harkless
  17. Meyers Leonard
  18. Nene
  19. Derrick Williams
  20. Leandro Barbosa
  21. Kris Humphries
  22. Amare Stoudemire
  23. Jordan Hill
  24. Richard Jefferson
  25. Gerald Henderson
  26. Marreese Speights
  27. Kevin Seraphin
  28. James Johnson
  29. Randy Foye
  30. Greivis Vasquez
  31. David West
  32. Ty Lawson
  33. Norris Cole
  34. Tim Frazier
  35. James Michael McAdoo
  36. Troy Daniels
  37. Boban Marjanovic
  38. Ian Clark
  39. Brandon Rush
  40. Dewayne Dedmon
  41. Brandon Bass
  42. Anderson Varejao
  43. Luis Scola
  44. Hollis Thompson
  45. PJ Hairston
  46. Jordan McRae
  47. Christian Wood
  48. Miles Plumlee
  49. Aaron Brooks
  50. Alan Anderson
  51. David Lee
  52. Steve Blake
  53. Kirk Hinrich
  54. Udonis Haslem
  55. Pablo Prigioni
  56. Jason Terry
  57. Raymond Felton
  58. Marcelo Huertas
  59. Chris Kaman
  60. Jason Thompson
  61. Dorell Wright
  62. Brian Roberts
  63. Jason Smith
  64. Marcus Thornton
  65. Anthony Bennett
  66. Jeff Ayres
  67. Andre Miller
  68. Gerald Green
  69. Quincy Acy
  70. Louis Amundson
  71. Jorge Gutierrez
  72. Tyler Hansbrough
  73. Damjan Rudez
  74. Damian Inglis
  75. Mike Miller
  76. Chase Budinger
  77. Johnny O’Bryant
  78. Jordan Farmar
  79. Josh Smith
  80. James Jones
  81. Matt Bonner
  82. Elton Brand
  83. Tayshaun Prince
  84. Kevin Martin
  85. Alonzo Gee
  86. Nazr Mohammed
  87. Chris Anderson
  88. Greg Smith
  89. Kendrick Perkins
  90. JJ Hickson
  91. Jordan Hamilton
  92. Ryan Kelly
  93. Ronnie Price
  94. Joel Anthony
  95. Andrea Bargnani
  96. Isiah Canaan
  97. Bryce Cotton
  98. Cleanthony Early
  99. Charlie Villanueva
  100. Steve Novak
  101. Sasha Vujacic
  102. Xavier Munford
  103. Butler
  104. Dujan
  105. Eric Moreland
  106. Robert Sacre
  107. Metta World Peace






2 responses to “So What’s Next in Free Agency

  1. What about Spencer Hawes for a big man off the bench? He’s got this year + player option on the following season.

    Hornets are looking to move him, possibly without taking anyone back.

    Do you think this is something that should be explored?

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