Building the Roster... For Those Who Can't Wait

Nine days from now the Nets of Kings County will be acquiring their first new player in some time. They may also push some guys overboard on that same night. I, for one, have the jitters because of these two facts.It's just so exciting.

Sure, we could wait those nine days and then two more before the roster action really begins to amplify, but why wait when you can talk about it on Netsdaily like the frothing, summertime-carpal-tunnel-having crew that hangs around here every day. Why don't we talk about some of the sweet, sweet possibilities for our team. Optimism is key, as it must be considering the variables at hand. I'll try to keep the financials as true to projected reality as possible, but if any Larry Coons are hanging out in here then please correct me and bring the truth to the table.

Point Guard:

Deron Williams: Re-signed UFA, $17,177,795 first year ; $98,772,321 over 5

If he left to sign outright with another team it would, at this point, be at the very least the underdog of choices. From the Spring trip to Moscow and Istanbul, his presence around Billy King at Nets events, the similarly hollow state of the Mavs, and Brooklyn inching toward reality we can probably glean that the Nets are front and center - despite what ESPN and some other "hallowed" (Woj anyone?) writers have said. For this post DWill stays and plays some serious ball for the Brooklyn Nets for years to come.

Jason Kidd: signed UFA, $3,500,000 first year ; $7,500,000 over 2

Perhaps the least realistic thing I will toss out there. Farmar has decent value and a reasonable price tag...assuming he opts in, which he must do by June 30th. It would be awesome if Farmar had to opt in by June 27th, but thems the breaks. He can be moved, and if Kidd is targeted in earnest, I think he will be. Kidd is one of the oldest players in the league, like, top 3 eldest. Just today, a little glimmer of hope was given via this very blog about Kidd's pro-Brooklyn view. Compounded with his cryptic jumbotron message during the last NJ game and Kidd could very well be amenable to opening up Brooklyn and cementing a legacy.

Armon Johnson: Re-signed UFA, $770,000 for 1 year only (I made up that number. Help me Larry Coon!)

Why not? He looked like a less overwhelmed Ben Uzoh, which considering he'll be getting no minutes behind theoretical DWill and Kidd, that'll do just fine.

Shooting Guard:

Marshon Brooks: Under Contract, 1,160,040 this year ; team options next 2

It has to be assumed that he will only get better. He had a very solid rookie year by all accounts. Scored at a generous clip, grabbed a couple boards, could handle the ball - and all of this with the body of a scarecrow, no preseason, and a condensed schedule. He more than perhaps any player coming in will benefit from a non-locked out season. He should enter the year, barring a trade, as the starting 2.

First Round Pick: TBD, 1,200,000 to 1,050,000 in the first year

Acquiring a young, athletic, and versatile backcourt player should be a priority. Anthony Morrow is well liked by fans and teammates alike, but he is an extraordinarily one-dimensional player. If the team is constructed similar to what is presented here his plus 3-point shooting will not be so necessary on its own, but his value because of it is retained. There are a lot of backcourt players hanging around the back end of the first round in mocks: Doron Lamb, Jared Cunningham, Khris Middleton, John Jenkins, Evan Fournier, Tony Wroten, and the list goes on. Grabbing a guy with more athleticism and defensive prowess than Morrow (and not to mention a smaller contract) would help us flesh out the roster in other areas. Why trade an established 2 guard so that you can draft a young guard? I think Morrow is expendable, that's why.

DeShawn Stevenson: Re-signed UFA, Stretch exception

A lot of people will kill me for this, but his value to the team will be high going forward as a veteran guy, a defensive minded player, and someone who can be thrown around the rotation and inserted into lineups with little preparation or reason. He is a utility player at this point who brings the added element of Nets team knowledge, experience winning, veteran leadership, and cool tats.

Small Forward:

Gerald Wallace, Re-signed UFA, $7,500,000 first year, $40,000,000 over 5

This is where things get murky. I must concede that at this point it is fairly blatant that Gerald Wallace has more leverage in this conversation. His acquisition is going to be historically split amongst diehards, but once he resigns and continues his strong play then the trade will fade gently away. During his limited time with DWill last year they performed quite well together and during that period he was one of the only - if not the only - veteran presence for the Nets down the stretch. His value is high, but we will probably have to back-load his contract (a theme, unfortunately) and offer him those full 5 years. He is a great starting small forward to have. Let's hope he maintains. With this fresh news that the Nets are preparing something "over 30 mil" this number seems reasonable.

Gerald Green: Re-signed UFA, $3,000,000 first year : $10,500,000 over 3

He was so effective off the bench towards the end of last year, especially offensively (well, predominantly offensively), but he still only played a short period of time in the grand scheme of a hoops season. It would take a brash GM to offer him more than 10.5 over 3 based on some highlights and some solid scoring nights sprinkled on top of some losing efforts. It would be great if we kept him, which may require a slight backload to scare some teams off. If he actually took a tiny paycut to stay he would be even more of a fan favorite than he already is.

Damion James: Re-signed UFA, $770,000 for only one year (Help me again Larry!)

I feel genuinely bad for Damion James. I have always been a fan of his ever since the intra-squad practice before the 2010/2011 season at the Rock. He displays some athleticism, relentless hustle, and some size at the 3 spot. He was a starter as a rookie and then a starter again out of camp, but each time was robbed by nagging injuries, from which he will end up losing millions in guaranteed money. This is extremely unfortunate for James, but somewhat cruelly advantageous for us. I doubt another team goes after him, leaving us to retain him for the minimum - someone who knows the system, the coach, the staff, the players. I hope he is retained.

Power Forward:

Kevin Garnett: Signed UFA, $11,500,000 first year, 36 over 3 with player option for 4th.

This will be the hardest free agent in this post to acquire, but he would be the front court elixir that we so sorely need. He would be defensive manna like we have never seen before. The Celtics had a very good run, and he may want to continue down that road into the sunset. Jeff Green is coming back, but at what capacity? Ray Allen looked bad and Paul Pierce has looked far better. They might even lose Brandon Bass (who knows). He may opt for a team that can offer him a good salary with some years, increased marketing and income opportunities, an exciting new team, and a longer outlook that the Celtics: our Nets! If we offer him the right contract then I don't discount this decision.

Mirza Teletovic: Signed UFA, $3,000,000 first year, $6,800,000 over 2

He has been linked to the Nets from the second his name crossed the Atlantic. An undeniable talent and somebody who would provide some experience, and stretchy, play at the 4. Should we sign Garnett, this pickup would be a great complement. He seems to have a great shoot and a decent post game from the videos floated around on here. If he comes at a reasonable price then he would be a great talent add.

Jordan Williams: Under Contract, $762,195 this year ; option for $884,293 next year

Welcome back big fella.


Brook Lopez: RFA Re-signed, $9,500,000 first year ; $55,000,000 over 5

We have to show Brook some love. He is the only player still around from the Vince Carter days (unbelievable) and he has provided high peaks and low valleys of excitement and disappointment over these past 4 years. It's time he gets paid for his skill and his overt loyalty in the face of being left out on the Magic's doorstep over and over. He will be costly, but also worth it. Assuming he regains his health he will be poised to have an excellent season with DWill providing him good looks from the get-go, Wallace and Garnett solidifying the frontcourt defense and opening things up for him to work. If the frontcourt consists of Wallace, Garnett, and Lopez we may well have a deep playoff run.

Johan Petro: Under Contract, 3,500,000 for only this year.

He will be very tough to move without accepting crap in return and doling out more cash than we'd like. We may b e stuck with him for another year, but he is rotationally avoidable on most nights. Let's hope he somehow got a lot better...okay, well let's just hope he hasn't gotten worse.

Robert Sacre: 57th Pick, $450,000 first year ; 1,200,000 over 2 OR Jeff Foote: Signed UFA, 473,000 for one yr only

Projected to go at the very end of the draft. If not him, then another big project. As far as Sacre is concerned he has size, performed decently at the draft combine from a measurement and strength standpoint, and he has a ton of collegiate experience. We can do much worse with this pick, and if we get someone who can be groomed as a Petro replacement immediately then I am all for it. As far as Foote is concerned, we had heard all season the Springfield staff sing his praises. He went to the D-League all star game and even got called up at one point. He probably knows some semblance of the system by now and as the last big off the bench, would be a good pickup.

All in all the salaries listed about total a little over 60 mil. This can all be done if the unrestricted free agents whose bird rights we don't own are locked up. This can all happen relatively easily if Deron verbally commits, but holds off on signing until other players take up some cap space, so that then we can eclipse the cap with Deron's contract as we retain his bird rights.

What does everyone think? Counters? Ideas? Like it? Hate it? Let's start a rabid conversation for the next nine days and spitball some ideas. Maybe our collective ideas will be so good, so financially precise that BK has no choice but to follow our blueprint. We can hope, right?

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