Deadlines and Commitments - XLIX

We're probably a month away from the high season for trades. It should begin on March 1, when 130 free agents can be traded for the first time. Expect a lot of activity between March 1 and the trade deadline two weeks later. Of course, there's now a lot of conflicting information about whether the Magic will want to trade Dwight Howard or keep their team rolling, intact.

We've added some crucial dates regarding the Nets' transition from New Jersey to Brooklyn, including the earliest possible date for the completion of the exterior skin; what Barclays Center might look like if the Nets want to bring prospective free agents to the arena that first week of July; and the team's last games as the New Jersey Nets.

January 25 - Deadline to offer contract extensions to members of the 2008 Draft Class. Nets are unlikely to offer Brook Lopez an extension although Billy King was careful not to rule it out completely.

First Week of February - Earliest possible date for Lopez's return from a broken foot. He injured it in a preseason game December 21. Recuperation was expected to last six to eight weeks. He can opt for a short rehab tour in Springfield with the Armor if he wants.

February - Brooklyn Nets will reportedly unveil their new colors and logo, but NOT their new uniform. Also, in February, the business side of the team will move from PNY Center in East Rutherford and Barclays Center Showroom in Manhattan to Bruce Ratner's 15 Metro Tech in Brooklyn, one stop north of Barclays Center on the subway.

February 6 - 10-day contracts can be signed; Last day 13 players can dress and play. After this date, teams can dress 13 players but only 12 can play; first of five games that Nets will dress in retro New York Nets uniforms. They will play the Bulls that night. Other dates for the "Hardwood Classic" uniforms: February 11 vs. the Spurs; February 15 vs. the Grizzlies; February 22 vs. the Magic and March 7 vs. the Clippers.

February 10 - Non-guaranteed deals become fully guaranteed. That would apply to Larry Owens, who has a non-guaranteed deal.

February 22 - First day Mehmet Okur can be traded in multi-player deal. He can traded one-for-one at any time.

February 26 - NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. Pundits doubt the Magic want to see Howard in another team's uniform during All-Star weekend. However, what's the alternative? Having the All-Star Game dominated by trade talks? Choose your poison, Richard DeVos.

March 1 - First day teams can trade players they signed as free agents in 2011. For the Nets, that's Shelden Williams, Shawne Williams, Kris Humphries and DeShawn Stevenson.

March 4 - Russian Presidential Election. Mikhail Prokhorov vs. Vladimir Putin. Prokhorov highly unlikely to win or make a run-off should Putin not get 50% of the vote. If he wins, or if Putin appoints him prime minister (surprisingly more likely), he has said he will put his Nets shares in a "blind trust", with independent trustees in charge of major decisions.

March 15 - NBA trade deadline, 6 p.m. ET

March 16 - Nets travel to Orlando.

March 23 - Last day to sign a player and have him be playoff-eligible

April 23 - Last regular season home game for the Nets in New Jersey, 7:30 at Prudential Center vs. the 76ers

April 26 - Regular season ends with Nets vs Raptors. in Toronto, last game for the New Jersey Nets unless they make the playoffs.

May 23 - Earliest completion date for exterior skin at Barclays Center

June 28 - NBA Draft in Newark. Number of picks currently owned by the Brooklyn Nets (and by this point they will be be the Brooklyn Nets): three, their own and the Rockets' (lottery-protected) first round picks plus the Heat's second round pick, which could very well be the last pick in the draft.

July 1 - Teams can contact free agents. For those thinking tours of the Barclays Center might be in order that week, the arena should be looking a lot like the finished product, with the scoreboard and other LED installation nearly complete and seating almost all in place.

July 11 - Teams can begin signing free agents.

July 27 – August 12 - 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Deron Williams likely to be only Net playing at the Olympics. France did not offer Johan Petro a slot on Les Bleus, its Olympic team. Mehmet Okur hasn't played for Turkey's "12 Giant Men" since the 2007 World Championships.

August 30 - Expected completion date for Barclays Center. Might slip a few days. Expect a couple of shakeout events in early September. Moved back from August 27.

September 28 - Opening Night, Barclays Center. Jay-Z will open the arena with a series of concerts.

October 17 - Arena construction documents list this date as first preseason game at the arena.

October 31 - Opening Night for the Brooklyn Nets, according to those same documents. Arena officials note that this is simply a target date, not set in stone.


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