The Nets are in a waiting mode. They're waiting for the Draft Lottery, the Draft itself, free agency, a free agency mini-camp, the Pre-Draft Combine, the Adidas EuroCamp. They're waiting for Barclays Center to be completed. Never has the team's future been more up in the air, as likely to fall as rise depending on the prevailing winds.
Whether the team is rising or falling, Barclays Center keeps rising over the Brooklyn skyline, putting even more pressure on the front office. The arena opens in exactly five months from Saturday with a Jay-Z concert. If he isn't wearing Brooklyn Nets gear, we will be shocked. If he's not talking about Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace, we'll be unhappy.
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 at a press conference across from the arena at Modell's.
May 16 - Brook Lopez meets with orthopedists to determine when he can start practicing.
May 21 - 23 - Free agent mini-camp at PNY Center. For the first time, the Nets will bring in free agents for tryouts. Many of those invited will be D-Leaguers, including some from the Armor. While the primary purpose is to scout players for the Nets summer league entry and training camp, it's possible that the Nets could be looking for a 15th man on next season's roster.
May (TBD) - NBA Pre-Draft Combine, where the top 60 prospects are invited, measured, worked out and interviewed as scouts and GM's try to figure out where they fit in the Draft.
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. A night of tension shared by the front office and fans alike. Nets have 7.6% chance at the overall #1, 25.5% chance at a top three pick. Expect weeping either way.
June 1 - Unless the Lakers agree to accept a $250,000 payment from the Nets, the final pick in the draft goes to L.A. As part of the December 2010 Sasha Vujacic trade with the Lakers, the Nets sent the pick, originally a Bulls' pick, to L.A. with the provision that the Nets could retrieve it if the Lakers agreed to accept the $250,000. League source says L.A. is unlikely to go along.
June 10 - 12 - Adidas EuroCamp in Treviso, Italy. The European equivalent of the Pre-Draft Combine. Expect Nets international scout Danko Cvjeticanin to be there and if there is someone particularly interesting, others from the front office as well. It's possible Nets board member Sergei Kushchenko could be on hand. While with CSKA, he was seen as one of the continent's best judges of talent.
June 13 - Although Gerald Wallace says he expects to decide soon on whether to opt out of his $9.5 million, this is the deadline for his player's option. His contract has, for some reason, a deadline prior to June 30.
June 28 - NBA Draft in Newark. The number and position of the first rounders still dependent on the lottery.. and whether Mikhail Prokhorov is willing to buy a pick Don't be surprised if the Nets acquire a mid-round pick now that they don't get the Rockets' pick until 2013. It's already being discussed. The Nets do have the Heat's second round pick, which is #57, and could wind up with the Lakers' #60 pick if L.A. takes the $250,000 discussed above. Both would be ideal for EuroStash.
June (TBD) - Expect Nets new uniform design to be unveiled. Perhaps just before or after the draft? Who holds them up at a press conference? Rookies?
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). Jordan Farmar ($4.25 million) must decide whether to stay through 2012-13 or become an unrestricted free agent. 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 has said he would like to have his contract issues resolved by the Olympics.
July 9 - July 16 - Orlando Summer League. Who might be there? Draft picks? Bojan Bogdanovic (if signed)? MarShon Brooks and Jordan Williams, if they're healthy and still with the team, will be there. Dennis Horner has 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.