Starting Friday, they'll have to start thinking seriously about filling it. March 1 is the so-called "second trade deadline." The basic rule is that if a player isn't on an NBA roster --or waived-- March 1, teams can sign him and he'll be eligible for playoff rosters. Rosters are submitted to the league office one day after the regular season ends, meaning April 18.
So, a player waived by Friday can still be eligible to play in the post-season. Agents for players who want to get onto a playoff will often ask to be waived or bought out by March 1. The process is already underway. The Magic has waived Hakim Warrick, the 30-year-old power forward. The Wizards will likely waive Jason Collins, the ex-Net, and Omri Casspi, the tough-nosed Cavaliers forward, reportedly asked for a buyout Thursday so he can join the Grizzlies or Rockets. Then, on Saturday, he suffered acute appendicitis and was rushed to an Orlando hospital.
The Nets don't necessarily have to go with a veteran. They could call up one of the Armor players, three of whom have NBA experience: Ben Uzoh and Dennis Horner with the Nets and Kris Joseph with the Celtics. Or they could go with Willie Reed, who's come on this season. All use the Nets system. They could call up a player from another D-League team, like DaJuan Summers or Samardo Samuels, or even pry loose a former NBA player from a European club. And there's always Donte Greene, who broke his ankle right after the Nets invited him to training camp. He's recovered and recent reports indicated the Nets had "inquired about him." But he hasn't played in 10 months.
If they go the D-League or overseas route ... or sign Greene, they can wait a bit since they won't be on an NBA roster this week. Or they could do nothing, but with injuries mounting, that's less likely. Nets brass say they haven't "really" decided and will wait to see who's available. Hoopshype has a list of the full range of possibilities.
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