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Deadlines and Commitments - LIII

The next deadline is the big deadline, the one Nets fans have awaited since December. Will it be anti-climactic if it passes with Dwight Howard still in Orlando? How will the Nets know if Orlando is going to hold on to Howard? Will Otis Smith make an announcement and if he does, when? If he doesn't let the Nets know, how does that affect other deals, starting with salary dumps, they may want to do? If the Nets do salary dumps, how many Springfield Armor players will be called up? All will be answered .. or delayed.

Beyond the trade deadline, there's an NBA Board of Governors meeting in mid-April when the Nets move to Brooklyn will likely be discussed and approved. Then, everything is a blur until July when Deron Williams and Howard will head to Las Vegas for Team USA tryouts. It sure would be neat to have two Nets getting Olympic gold medals to bring back to...Brooklyn.

March 15 - NBA trade deadline, 3 p.m. ET. The Nets will fly that day to Orlando for a game the next day.. Who's on the plane? Who's not? Who's awaiting their arrival in Orlando?

March 23 - Last day to sign a player and have him be playoff-eligible

April 11-14 -- Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (Portsmouth, VA). Scouts gather for first big event of Draft prelims.

Mid-April - NBA Board of Governors meeting. This is likely to be the meeting where the Nets' move to Brooklyn is approved, along with the name change from "New Jersey Nets" to "Brooklyn Nets". Logo time?

April 23 - Last regular season home game for the Nets in New Jersey, 7:30 at Prudential Center vs. the 76ers

April 26 - Regular season ends with Nets vs Raptors. in Toronto, last game for the New Jersey Nets unless they make the playoffs.

May 23 - Earliest completion date for exterior skin at Barclays Center.

May 30 - 2012 NBA Draft Lottery, NBA TV Studios, Secaucus, NJ

June 28 - NBA Draft in Newark. Number of picks currently owned by the Brooklyn Nets (and by this point they will be be the Brooklyn Nets): three--their own and the Rockets' (lottery-protected) first round picks plus the Heat's second round pick, which could very well be the last pick in the draft.

July 1 - Teams can contact free agents and this is often the day news breaks about free agents' intentions. For those thinking tours of the Barclays Center might be in order that week, the arena should be looking a lot like a finished product, with the scoreboard and other LED installation nearly complete and seating almost all in place. Players start announcing their intentions.

July 6 - July 11 - Team USA will train daily at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Deron Williams (and Dwight Howard) have been invited and both are viewed as locks to make the squad.

July 11 - Teams can begin signing free agents. Could be time for free agent signings, but top free agents will still be in the Pacific Time Zone.

July 12 - Team USA plays Dominican Republic (Al Horford, Charlie Villanueva and Francisco Garcia) in Las Vegas.

July 13 - 16 - Team USA training moves to Washington, D.C., concluding with an exhibition vs. Brazil (Tiago Splitter, Anderson Varejao). Top free agents an Acela ride away.

July 17- 19 - Team USA moves to Europe where it will stay through August 12. First stop is in Manchester, England, concluding with an exhibition game July 19 against Great Britain (Luol Deng, Ben Gordon) at the Manchester Arena.

July 22 - 24 - Team USA celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team with exhibition games in Barcelona against Argentina (Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni) on July 22 and Spain (Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio) on July 24.

July 27 – August 12 - 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Deron Williams likely to be only Net playing at the Olympics, unless they acquire Howard or sign international players like Andrei Kirilenko in July. France did not offer Johan Petro a slot on Les Bleus, its Olympic team. Mehmet Okur hasn't played for Turkey's "12 Giant Men" since the 2007 World Championships and he won't be a Net by then anyway. Bojan Bogdanovic's Croatian team doesn't have an invite.

September 5 - Expected completion date for Barclays Center. Expect a couple of shakeout events in early September. Moved back from August 27.

September 28 - Opening Night, Barclays Center. Jay-Z will open the arena with a series of concerts.

October 2 - First sporting event at Barclays, a preseason NHL game between the Islanders and Devils.

October 17 - Arena construction documents list this date as first preseason game at the arena.

October 31 - Opening Night for the Brooklyn Nets, according to those same documents. Arena officials note that this is simply a target date, not set in stone.