It's so much easier to do this report nowadays ... even after a hectic summer and interesting training camp. In the past, we had to take out our calculator and Larry Coon's CBA FAQ to figure out how much under the cap the Nets would be. Not a problem now. They're so far over the cap and luxury tax threshold, it doesn't matter! The Nets owe their players $340.3 million...plus $12 million for amnesty payments to Travis Outlaw.
No worries about getting protections on draft picks right either. The Nets have all their own first rounders through 2018 but nobody else's picks. They have dealt all their own second rounders through 2017. (They have the right to swap picks with the Clippers in 2016.) Since teams can only trade picks six years out, their 2018 second rounder is the only second rounder they can trade. They can, as they did in the 2011 and 2012 drafts, buy picks.
They have none and are unlikely to have any for another three years. They went from $40+ million under the cap to $11.6 million over the luxury tax threshold in a matter of days. After the signing of Andray Blatche and Josh Childress in September, the Nets are at $83.5 million, meaning they will have to pay $13.2 million in taxes this season unless something dramatic happens before July. It's the first time since 2003-04 that the Nets will have paid any luxury tax.
The Nets owe their current roster a grand total of $340.3 million over the next five years, which is the highest total in the NBA. And that doesn't count the $12 million still owed Travis Outlaw.
There are other superlatives to this summer' spending:
--The Nets agreed to pay $335.6 million in salaries to 14 players this summer...everyone on the roster except MarShon Brooks. That's the second most ever, after the Heat's 2010 Big Three Shopping Spree. Pat Riley committed the Heat to pay out $402 million that off-season.
--The Nets $83.5 million payroll this season is third in the NBA behind the Lakers at $100.2 million and Heat at $84.2 million.
--Two of the three players with the most money left on their contracts work for Mikhail Prokhorov. No player is owed more than Deron Williams, with his brand new $98.8 million deal. The $89.2 million owed Joe Johnson is the third highest number. In between, Derrick Rose, who's owed $94.3 million.
--The Nets spent more money on Draft Night than any other team. Although no team would sell them a first rounder, they spent $2.75 million on draft rights, all but $250,000 the league permits. Add that to the salary commitments and the grand total for summer spending on players is $338.3 million. (We don't know how much the new coaches cost.)
The big problem being so capped out for so long goes beyond the luxury taxes the Nets will have to pay. The Nets, for example, won't be able to do any sign-and-trade deals this summer, barring some extraordinary salary cutting.
The Nets have five players on minimum deals: rookies Tyshawn Taylor and Tornike Shengelia plus veterans Jerry Stackhouse, Keith Bogans, C.J. Watson, Andray Blatche and Josh Childress. Taylor and Shengelia have two-year guarantees. Watson has a two-year deal with a player option in the second year. Bogans and Stackhouse are on one-year contracts while Blatche and Childress are on non-guaranteed deals until January when all deals become guaranteed. Blatche and Childress are both owed amnesty clause payments from their previous teams, Blatche $21 million from the Wizards; Childress $21 million from the Suns.
The rest of the roster is on a variety of other deals. Deron Williams has a five-year, $98.8 million contract with an early termination option in the fifth year; Brook Lopez has a four-year, $60.8 million deal with a player option in the fourth year; Gerald Wallace has a four-year, fully guaranteed $40 million deal; Kris Humphries has a two-year, fully guaranteed $24 million deal; Mirza Teletovic has a three-year, fully guaranteed $9.8 million deal; Reggie Evans has a three-year, fully guaranteed $5.1 million dollar deal and MarShon Brooks remains on his rookie contract, getting $1.16 million this season and assuming the team picks up his option, $4.5 million over the next three years.
MarShon Brooks, Tyshawn Taylor and Toko Shengelia can be traded at any time. Everyone else besides Brook Lopez can be traded after December 15. Any deal involving the Nets center would have to wait until January 15. Williams and Lopez have 15% trade kickers.
Bogdanovic, a 6'8" Croatian swingman, is likely to arrive in the NBA for 2013-14, when he will be 24. His agent reportedly wants him in the NBA earlier rather than later. Just before the 2011 draft, he signed a three-year deal with Fenerbahce Ulker of Istanbul. The contract has an "NBA out" in 2013. The Nets had hoped they could work a deal with the Turkish club and get him here quicker. As a second round pick, he can negotiate a contract outside the rookie minimums. Considering that he was the first pick of the second round (and would have certainly gone higher except for his deal with Fener), he is likely to get an initial contract with a first year salary above $1 million, depending on how much Euroleague teams offer him.
Karaman, a 6'10" Turkish power forward, has an uncertain arrival date. He is currently 22 years old. The Nets have not discussed his buyout situation. Considering he was drafted at #57, unless he has a breakout year in Turkey, he is not likely to get much of a contract and certainly less than the $1+ million he's currently being paid in Turkey. Jeff Schwartz, who represents Williams, Teletovic, Stackhouse and Taylor, also has Karaman as a U.S. client.
The Nets have all their first round picks going forward, from 2013 through 2018. On the other hand, they have no second round picks until 2018, unless their second rounder in 2016 is a lower pick than the Clippers'. Here are the details:
--In 2013, the Nets have their own first round pick but sent their second round pick to Minnesota along with a reported $1.5 million in cash for Bogdanovic on Draft Night in 2011.
--In 2014, the Nets have their own first round pick but sent their second round pick and their 2010 first round pick (Jujaun Johnson) to Boston for Marshon Brooks, also on Draft Night in 2011.
--In 2015, the Nets have their own first round pick, but sent their second round pick to Utah for Mehmet Okur.
--In 2016, the Nets have their own first round pick, but agreed to swap second round picks with the Clippers in return for Reggie Evans, which means its trade value is non-existent unless and until Draft Night 2016/
--In 2017, the Nets have their own first round pick, but sent their second round pick to Atlanta in the package for Joe Johnson.
--In 2018, the Nets have their own first round and second round picks.
Prior to the Deron Williams' trade, the Nets had not traded any of their own first round picks since 1999, preferring to keep their picks and trade those acquired from other teams. Under Billy King, they traded first rounders in 2011 and 2012 to acquire Williams and Gerald Wallace.
The Nets received two trade exceptions from the Gerald Wallace trade, a $3 million exception and a $1.3 million exception. Part of the larger TE --$1.62 million-- was used to sign Reggie Evans. That leaves $1.38 million from the first TE and the full $1.3 million on the second. They expire on March 15. Considering how small the exceptions are, it's unlikely either will be used. They can be used to grab a player off waivers as well as in a trade, but there are a number of restrictions on how they can be used. They can't be combined for example. (The Nets had a $1.3 million trade exception from the Terrence Williams trade which they never used. It expired last season.)
Mid-level and Low-level exceptions:
The Nets had a mini-MLE this year and used it to pay Teletovic. Next year the Nets are unlikely to have anything more. By going way over the "hard cap" of $72.3 million in salaries, the Nets can only use up to $3.09 million out of the MLE, thus the "mini-MLE." Also, teams over the hard cap cannot take advantage of the Bi-Annual Exception, which starts at $1.96 million.
Although the Nets have the richest owner in the NBA, new restrictions on cash considerations limit how much Mikhail Prokhorov can spend in deals. Under the new CBA teams are limited to sending --or receiving-- $3 million in cash during the fiscal year, July 1 through June 30. Since the Nets didn't paid out any cash since June 27,2011, they were able to buy second round picks, paying Portland $2 million for the rights to the #41 pick, Tyshawn Taylor, and paying Philadelphia $750,000 for the rights to the #57 pick, Tornike Shengelia. They now have until June 30 to spend another $3 million. Such cash considerations can be used to sweeten a trade or purchase a player's rights.
Since he bought the team, Prokhorov has spent about $11.75 million in cash: $3 million in the Yi Jianlian salary dump; $3 million to facilitate the Deron Williams trade; $1.5 million to buy the rights to Bojan Bogdanovic and the $2.75 millionto buy the rights to Taylor and Shengelia. During that period, no owner paid out more. James Dolan of the Knicks is second, having spent nearly $8 million.