As Nets fans wait to hear when they'll next see Deron Williams play (either this season, next season or the season after that if there's a long lockout), here's a list of important dates between now and the first date Williams and the Nets can agree to a long-term deal.
Unfortunately, this 20th edition of Deadlines and Commitments is draft-centric, not playoff-centric.
March 25-27 - NCAA East Regional Championship, Newark. Nets' home arena will be scene of the East Regional, saving Nets scouts transportation costs!
March 30 - Nets vs. Knicks, Madison Square Garden...on ESPN. First nationally televised Nets game in more than two years and the first game between the post-DWill Nets and the post-Melo Knicks...if indeed Williams is playing. Look for Williams billboard in Times Square to be unveiled by this one.
April 6-9 - Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Virginia. College seniors who are the cusp of the draft play against each other, the official opening of draft season.
April 13 - 2010-11 season ends for Nets with game vs. Bulls in Chicago. A total of 21 players will have donned the Nets uniform this season, a near-record.
April 25 - NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 p.m. ET). College underclassmen and international players must declare early eligibility.
April 29 - NBA Teams may conduct or attend workouts with Early Entrants.
May 1 - Nets take over basketball operations of Springfield Armor. Team begins process of hiring a GM, assistant GM, coaching staff, trainer and scouts for their D-League team.
May 8 - NCAA Early Entrant withdrawal deadline for college underclassmen to decide whether to stay in the NBA Draft or lose their NCAA eligibility. Where will CBA negotiations stand at that point and how will it affect decisions, particularly by members of the freshman class? The draft, already seen as weak, could get a lot weaker if top underclassmen withdraw.
May 17 - NBA Draft Lottery, NBA TV Studios, Secaucus, NJ. The lottery and the draft will both be in New Jersey this year. Jazz now hold the Nets' first round pick.
June 4-7 - Adidas Treviso EuroCamp. European prospects gather in Treviso, Italy, just outside Venice, to work out in front of NBA scouts and general managers.
June 11 - New York Liberty opens their home season at the Prudential Center. The Dolans may own them but they will become New Jersey's team for three years as Madison Square Garden is renovated during the summer.
June 13 - NBA Early Entrant withdrawal deadline. Primarily applies to international players. Unlike college players, international players can re-sign overseas if there is a lockout.
June 23 - NBA Draft, Prudential Center, Newark. With the Garden undergoing renovations, the Draft moves across the Hudson to Newark as well. If the draft were held today and no choices are added or subtracted before the deadline or that night, the Nets would have the 26th and 36th picks. Billy King has said the Nets are likely to be focusing on "wings and bigs".
June 30 - End of old collective bargaining agreement, possible start of lockout?
July 5 - Nets must decide whether to keep Stephen Graham for 2011-2012 season. If he is cut by July 5 the Nets owe him nothing.
July 18 - Assuming no lockout and no significant changes to the CBA, this is the first day Williams could sign a contract extension with the Nets. Neither of those two assumptions are likely and the D-Will signing saga is likely to move into the season.