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As Roster Decisions Near, Nets Have Some Flexibility

The Nets are involved in trade talks with Denver that could yield Carmelo Anthony in a multi-player deal.  They also have to pare the roster by at least one and possibly two players by Monday. On top of that, they have to decide what to do with Brian Zoubek and Ben Uzoh, both of whom have partially guaranteed deals. 

Bottom line, they will need roster flexibility, but the Nets may have ways to get around those issues.  For one, they don't have to decide on their other non-guaranteed contract, Stephen Graham's, until December. According to ShamSports, Graham has a $450,000 guarantee on his two-year vets minimum deal...and another $100,000 next season if he sticks around. (The Nets have paid a total of $635,000 in partial guarantees this season, 25 times what they gave out during the Ratner era.)

In addition, a change in D-League rules could lead to Zoubek and/or Uzoh heading north to Springfield, MA.

The rule allows the D-League teams to pick up as many as three players from their NBA affiliates (the Nets, Knicks and 76ers in the case of the Springfield Armor) after the players have been waived before opening day rosters are set on Monday.

There's one big issue for the players.  They have to agree to be paid a low five figure D-League salary. That's a lot  less money than they could get overseas, whether in Europe, China or elsewhere.  The advantage is that it allows the young player to stay on the parent club's radar and be called up if needed. (The Nets would not have exclusive rights to the player.  Other teams could make a separate deal with him.)

Already, the Celtics have offered such a deal with Tiny Gallon, Mario West and Stephan Lasme and the Mavericks are doing the same with former Net Sean Williams and Rashad McCants. Gallon, Williams and McCants, in fact, were brought in over the last few days with the understanding they would be cut, then sent to the D-League.