As the days dwindle down to the precious few (only two weeks till the first NetsDaily Off-Season Report!), this could be an exhilarating or dreadful off-season. With the Nets desperately trying to surround Deron Williams with top-flight talent and a lockout looming, this could be the Nets' most important off-season...until next off-season.
Some things, most notably the Draft, will not be affected by the lockout. Same is true of the Nets' takeover of the Springfield Armor. The D-League is expected to play a full schedule next season. Can you say ArmorDaily?
April 6-9 - Portsmouth Invitational Tournament in Virginia. College seniors who are the cusp of the draft play against each other, the official opening of draft season. Some interesting names on the list: Justin Harper of Richmond, Josh Harrellson of Kentucky, Jamie Skeets of VCU and Jeremy Hazzell of Seton Hall. Nets will scout for themselves and their Armor roster.
April 13 - 2010-11 season ends for Nets with game vs. Bulls in Chicago. A total of 22 players will have donned the Nets uniform this season, tying a record.
April 14 - Any ties between teams for draft position will be broken. Right now, the Lakers' pick obtained in the three team deal last December would be tied for 29th in the draft with the Bulls. Head-to-head records and division records are not used to break ties for draft position. A simple coin toss will do.
April 25 - NBA Early Entry Eligibility Deadline (11:59 p.m. ET). College underclassmen and international players must declare early eligibility.
April 29 - NBA Teams may conduct or attend workouts with Early Entrants. Possible mass workout at PNY Center.
May 1 - Nets take over basketball operations of Springfield Armor. Team begins process of hiring a GM, assistant GM, coaching staff, trainer and scouts for their D-League team.
May 8 - NCAA Early Entrant withdrawal deadline for college underclassmen to decide whether to stay in the NBA Draft or lose their NCAA eligibility. Where will CBA negotiations stand at that point and how will it affect decisions, particularly by members of the freshman class? The draft, already seen as weak, could get a lot weaker if top underclassmen withdraw.
May 12 - First anniversary of Mikhail Prokhorov's takeover of the Nets. Expect report cards on how he's done. At best, they will be mixed.
May 17 - NBA Draft Lottery, NBA TV Studios, Secaucus, NJ. The lottery and the draft will both be in New Jersey this year. Jazz now hold the Nets' first round pick.
June 4-7 - Adidas Treviso EuroCamp. European prospects gather in Treviso, Italy, just outside Venice, to work out in front of NBA scouts and general managers. So interested is limited to what-might-have-been.
June 11 - New York Liberty opens their home season at the Prudential Center. The Dolans may own them but they will become New Jersey's team for three years as Madison Square Garden is renovated during the summer.
June 13 - NBA Early Entrant withdrawal deadline. Primarily applies to international players. Unlike college players, international players can re-sign overseas if there is a lockout. Expect international players to dominate in draft speculation.
June 23 - NBA Draft, Prudential Center, Newark. With the Garden undergoing renovations, the Draft moves across the Hudson to Newark as well. If the draft were held today and no choices are added or subtracted before the deadline or that night, the Nets would have the 29th and 36th picks. Billy King has said the Nets are likely to be focusing on "wings and bigs".
June 30 - End of old collective bargaining agreement, possible start of lockout?
July 5 - Nets must decide whether to keep Stephen Graham for 2011-2012 season. If he is cut by July 5 the Nets owe him nothing. If they keep him, he gets a guaranteed $100,000.
July 18 - Assuming no lockout and no significant changes to the CBA, this is the first day Deron Williams could sign a contract extension with the Nets. Neither of those two assumptions are likely to turn into reality. So the D-Will signing saga is likely to move into the new season whenever and ifever it starts..