When the Nets sign Jorge Gutierrez, as expected, for the rest of the season Thursday, their playoff roster will be complete. There's been a lot of talk about how the Nets need to go deep to meet expectations. After all, Mikhail Prokhorov will shell out nearly $200 million -- $102 million in salary and another $90 million luxury taxes this year -- more than any other owner has paid out in NBA history. That's quite the measuring stick.
Here's another measure: career earnings. Players who've earned a lot of money over the course of their careers should know what's expected of them. Using Basketball Reference's career salary numbers, found at the bottom of each player's page on that exhaustive site, we tallied up how much Nets players have made over the course of their careers. It's staggering.
Ladies and gentleman, the Nets roster is the NBA's first with career earnings of $1 BILLION. Based on the numbers found on Basketball Reference, the players who wear the black-and-white will have earned $1,022,843,188 by the end of this season. (Basketball Reference doesn't provide numbers on what Gutierrez and Jason Collins will make this year, but ShamSports does. The numbers are minimal, compared to the overall total. Add another $275,691 for Collins and around $123,424 for Gutierrez.)
The biggest career earners? No surprise, it's Kevin Garnett with $315,372,398. Three other Nets have made more than $100 million: Paul Pierce ($184,819,552); Joe Johnson ($150,571,837) and Andrei Kirilenko ($104,409,763). Deron Williams is close at $95,584,311.
That's a lot of dough and a lot of expectations.