Consider this the first post-New Jersey calendar for the Nets. Although the Nets have two more games in the next four days, the rest of the calendar is about Brooklyn in one way or another. It's all about the future, but the problem is the future is condensed into about 10 weeks, from season's end to free agency. By July 11, the Nets will know if they are going into Brooklyn with Plan A, as Mikhail Prokhorov likes to say, or perhaps Plan D.
There's an abundance of conventional wisdom that it will all go to schmutz (Brooklyn word for crap). We shall see.
April 26 - Regular season ends with Nets vs Raptors in Toronto, last game for the New Jersey Nets. If the Rockets make the playoffs, their pick goes to the Nets. They play the Hornets at home that night. Unlikely at this point.
April 27 - Ties on draft positions are broken with coin tosses. In case of ties between lottery teams, the number of ping-pong balls are evenly divided, but if that division results in an odd number, there's a coin toss for the extra ball.
April 30 - The Nets officially become the Brooklyn Nets. The team's new "identity" --colors and logo, but not uniforms-- will be introduced early that day.
May 30 - 2012 NBA Draft Lottery, location still TBA, but somewhere in New York metro area. If the Nets finish #1, #2 or #3, Brooklyn (yes, Brooklyn) retains the pick. If not, it goes to Portland.
June - Expect Nets new uniform design to be unveiled. Who holds them up at a press conference?
June 28 - NBA Draft in Newark. The number and position of the first rounders still dependent on final standings and lottery...not to mention trade rumors. The Nets do have the Heat's second round pick, which is likely to be no better than #57, making it ideal for a EuroStash. Don't be surprised if the Nets acquire a mid-round pick if they don't get the Rockets' pick.
June 30 - Decision Day on player options, early termination options, etc. Deron Williams has said he will opt out of his last year ($17.8 million). Gerald Wallace ($9.5 million) and Jordan Farmar ($4.25 million) must decide whether to stay through 2012-13 or become unrestricted free agents. Wallace could opt out and then do a handshake deal with the Nets almost simultaneously. There are no team options. Also, Gerald Green, Kris Humphries, Shelden Williams, Damion James, Sundiata Gaines, DeShawn Stevenson and Armon Johnson become unrestricted free agents. Some front office deals may expire as well.
July 1 - Teams can contact free agents and this is often the first day news breaks about free agents' intentions. Teams interested in Brook Lopez can formulate offers which the Nets would have three days to match or lose his rights. For those thinking tours of the Barclays Center might be in order that week, the arena should be looking a lot like a finished product, with the scoreboard and other LED installation nearly complete and seating almost all in place.
July 6 - July 11 - Team USA will train daily at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Deron Williams has been invited and is viewed as a lock to make the squad.
July 9 - July 16 - Orlando Summer League. Who might be there? Draft picks? Bojan Bogdanovic (if signed)? MarShon Brooks? Jordan Williams? One thing for sure: Springfield Armor players will be invited to play for the Nets entry. Dennis Horner has already said he's been invited and has accepted. Expect roster to be D-League heavy. You don't play 50 games in the D-League without developing ideas on who's worth inviting.
July 11 - Teams can begin signing free agents.
July 17- 19 - Team USA moves to Europe where it will stay through August 12. First stop is in Manchester, England, concluding with an exhibition game July 19 against Great Britain (Luol Deng, Ben Gordon) at the Manchester Arena.
July 22 - 24 - Team USA celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team with exhibition games in Barcelona against Argentina (Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni) on July 22 and Spain (Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Jose Calderon) on July 24.
July 27 – August 12 - 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Andrei Kirilenko in July. France did not offer Johan Petro a slot on Les Bleus, its Olympic team. Bojan Bogdanovic's Croatian team doesn't have an invite.likely to be only Net playing at the Olympics, unless they draft a European in June or acquire international players like
September 5 - Expected completion date for Barclays Center. 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 2 - First sporting event at Barclays, a preseason NHL game between the Islanders and Devils.
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.