Good teams need three solid big men. The Nets have one for sure in Brook Lopez and one they like a lot in Derrick Favors, but he's 18. Who's third? With Carlos Boozer gone, Dave D'Alessandro, like Al Iannazzone before him, believes the Nets will drop an offer, perhaps front-loaded, on Tyrus Thomas before the clock strikes 12 tonight. How big? Bigger than the MLE, which is what the Bobcats offered him.
Luis Scola? The Rockets have said they WILL match. Udonis Haslem? Not worth what he will be offered: $9-$10 million. David Lee? Not happening even if his agent says the proposed sign-and-trade with the Warriors and Knicks is just that: proposed. And is he really worth $80 million? So the best bet right now is Thomas, with Favors developing quickly, they hope.
Avery Johnson thinks it's possible, and points to Kevin Garnett (!) as an example of what could happen. "So if we can get him 10 more pounds of muscle – especially in the chest area – and he gets to understand the NBA game better, this kid can do what Garnett and what Stoudemire did as time progressed."