It's all about closing time the next few weeks, then later in the summer, it's the countdown to Opening Night in Brooklyn. In between? Possibly the most critical weeks in franchise history. The Nets' basketball operations staff, aka the Killer B's, will try to ensure the Nets have a winner in Barclays Center when they open in late October or early November. Not much at stake.
One big addition to the running calendar: The Orlando Summer League, which runs July 9 - 16 at the Magic training facility.
April 17 - Nets will retain Bird Rights to any D-Leaguer called up on a 10-day contract after this date. Could apply to Armon Johnson, whose 10-day deal ends April 18. If Springfield Armor are out of the D-League playoffs, Nets could call up one of them as well.
April 23 - Last home game for the Nets in New Jersey, 7:30 at Prudential Center vs. the 76ers. Big halftime celebration of Nets 35 years in New Jersey, with former players, coaches, executives. Gary Sussman will return to handle the mic for the game.
April 26 - Regular season ends with Nets vs Raptors in Toronto, last game for the New Jersey Nets. If the Rockets make the playoffs, their pick goes to the Nets. They play the Hornets at home that night.
April 27 - Ties on draft positions are broken with coin tosses. In case of ties between lottery teams, the number of ping-pong balls are evenly divided, but if that division results in an odd number, there's a coin toss for the extra ball.
April 27-30 (?) - Logo time? Nets insiders have said they'll release the Brooklyn Nets' new colors and logo the last week of April and apparently after the season. SInce April 27 is a Friday, it's doubtful they'll want their announcement deadened by the weekend. But April 30 is a Monday, and...
April 30 - The Nets officially become the Brooklyn Nets.
May 30 - 2012 NBA Draft Lottery, location still TBA, but somewhere in New York metro area. If the Nets finish #1, #2 or #3, Brooklyn (yes, Brooklyn) retains the pick. If not, it goes to Portland.
June 28 - NBA Draft in Newark. The number and position of the first rounders still dependent on final standings and lottery...not to mention trade rumors. The Nets do have the Heat's second round pick, which is likely to be no better than #57, making it ideal for a EuroStash.
June 30 - Decision Day on player options, early termination options, etc. Deron Williams has said he will opt out of his last year ($17.8 million). Gerald Wallace ($9.5 million) and Jordan Farmar ($4.25 million) must decide whether to stay through 2012-13 or become unrestricted free agents. There are no team options.
July 1 - Teams can contact free agents and this is often the first day news breaks about free agents' intentions. Teams interested in Brook Lopez can formulate offers which the Nets would have three days to match or lose his rights. 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.
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 9 - July 16 - Orlando Summer League. Who might be there? Draft picks? Bojan Bogdanovic (if signed)? Marshon Brooks? Jordan Williams? One thing for sure: Springfield Armor players will be invited to play for the Nets entry.
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 Jose Calderon) 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. 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.