It is now crunchtime. With five days till the end of the collective bargaining agreement, the NBA owners and players, it's clear the league's growing popularity is at risk. On Tuesday, barring an unforeseen breakthrough, the owners will vote to lock out players, starting Friday. Staff is being laid off around the league, but not in East Rutherford.
Also this week: expect some D-League news, with the D-League National Tryout this weekend, and maybe some undrafted rookies getting tryouts. On Monday, the Nets will unveil its three draftees and if that isn't enough to attract the media, Kris Humphries will be around to work with Avery Johnson on the Nets basketball development camp. In fact, Humphries, Anthony Morrow and Travis Outlaw are all part of local basketball camps this week...and Deron Williams just completed his. Expect them all, especially Hump, who is the Nets player rep, to get a lot of questions about the impending lockout. Of course, Hump will get other questions.
June 24-26 - D-League National Tryout, HOOPS, Louisville. Participants will be competing for the chance to sign an NBA D-League standard player contract and to be placed in the 2011 NBA D-League Draft, held in November. The Nets have set this week as a deadline for hiring at least the head coach for the Springfield Armor.
June 27 - PNY Center, 10:30 a.m. Nets introduce MarShon Brooks, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jordan Williams to the media.
June 27-30 - Nets basketball development camp, PNY Center. Avery Johnson, Kris Humphries and "special guests" will be on hand for the camp. No doubt some gossip writers will want press credentials too. Steel yourself, Suss.
June 27 - July 1 - Anthony Morrow Sharp Shooters Basketball Camp, Charlotte, NC.
June 28 - NBA Board of Governors meeting, New York. Owners are expected to vote on locking out the players.
June 28-30 - Travis Outlaw Elite Basketball Camp, Starkville, MS.
June 30 - End of old collective bargaining agreement, possible start of lockout? Humphries, Sasha Vujacic, Dan Gadzuric, Brandan Wright and Ben Uzoh become free agents.
July 1 - First day teams can start talking with free agents. Expect deals to be announced but not signed the next day...as long as there's no 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. If they keep him, he gets a guaranteed $100,000.
July 18 - Assuming no lockout and no significant changes to the CBA (BIG assumptions), this is the first day Deron Williams can sign a contract extension with the Nets. Neither of those two assumptions are likely to turn into reality. So the D-Will signing saga is likely to move into the new season whenever and if ever it starts.
July 28 - Expected date for Barclays Center's distinctive weathered steel skin, to start going up.
August 31 - September 18 - FiBA Eurobasket, Vilnius, Lithuania. Bojan Bogdanovic is a member of Team Croatia.