It's time for the Combines, where players show off their wares to NBA scouts in Chicago and Treviso, Italy. In the next week, there will be three combines: the D-League Combine starting Monday in Chicago; then the NBA Pre-Draft Combine starting Thursday, also in Chicago and finally the Adidas EuroCamp Sunday in Treviso. Two Nets employees, Bob MacKinnon and Milton Lee, will have big roles in the Chicago combines.
Once the combines are done, expect the Nets to begin individual workouts the week of June 13. Initially, they're likely to be lonely affairs, with lower level prospects coming in. As the Draft gets closer, and rumors of trades get more frequent, more realistic, agents for first rounders (particularly those who are dropping) will be calling.
Also, Monday, Mikhail Prokhorov is expected to make an announcement about his political future.
June 4 - Mikhail Prokhorov is expected to announce his political plans, specifically whether he will form a new political party to rival Vladimir Putin's United Russia.
June 4 - 5 - D-League Combine, Chicago, where 40 D-Leaguers will show what they can do to executives for all 30 NBA teams. Bob MacKinnon, the Armor coach, runs the combine. Four members of the Armor will be among the D-Leaguers.
June 7 - 8 - NBA Pre-Draft Combine, Chicago, where the top 60 prospects are invited, measured, worked out and interviewed as scouts and GM's try to figure out where they fit in the Draft. If the NBA follows last season's script, the first individual workouts --and a few mass workouts-- will take place after the combine's work is done. Milton Lee, who's helped run the combine for six years, will be back again this year.
June 10 - 12 - Adidas EuroCamp in Treviso, Italy. The European equivalent of the Pre-Draft Combine. Expect Nets international scout Danko Cvjeticanin to be there and if there is someone particularly interesting, others from the front office as well. And why not? Treviso is a short train ride from Venice!
June 13 - Although Gerald Wallace says he expects to decide soon on whether to opt out of his $9.5 million, this is the deadline for his player's option. His contract has a deadline prior to the normal June 30 deadline. if he opts out, he can't be signed till July. His contract can also be extended by the Nets.
June 13 - Nets Individual workouts begin this week, with the schedule and personnel determined by the results of the lottery.
June 16 - D-League National Tryouts in Basketball City on Pier 36, New York. One of four national tryouts around the country. it's part of the D-League Draft process. Dennis Horner so impressed Nets scouts at a national tryout last year that Milton Lee drafted him and he made the big club twice.
June 28 - NBA Draft in Newark. Don't be surprised if the Nets acquire a mid-round pick now that they don't have their own pick or the Rockets' pick until 2013. It's already being discussed. The Nets do have the Heat's second round pick, which is #57. And yes, you can get value that late. Isaiah Thomas, the Kings staring PG, went at #60 in 2011.
June 30 - Decision Day on player options, early termination options, qualifying offers, etc. Deron Williams has said he will opt out of his last year ($17.8 million). Jordan Farmar ($4.25 million) must decide whether to stay through 2012-13 or become an unrestricted free agent. There are no team options. Also, Gerald Green, Kris Humphries, Shelden Williams, Damion James, Sundiata Gaines, DeShawn Stevenson and Armon Johnson become unrestricted free agents. Nets must tender Brook Lopez a qualifying offer or he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Some front office deals expire as well.
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 installations 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 has been invited and has said he would like to have his contract issues resolved by the Olympics, meaning by this date. Until he actually signs, he will only go through light workouts and strength and conditioning.
July 8 - Final Team USA roster must be set.
July 9 - July 16 - Orlando Summer League. Who might be there? Draft picks? MarShon Brooks and Jordan Williams are expected to be there. Armor players Dennis Horner and Jeff Foote have accepted invitations. Expect roster to be D-League heavy. You don't play 50 games in the D-League without developing ideas on who's worth inviting.
July 11 - Teams can begin signing free agents.
July 12 - Team USA plays Dominican Republic (Al Horford, Charlie Villanueva and Francisco Garcia) in Las Vegas, then breaks camp.
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, Team USA has an exhibition game July 19 against Team 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, site of the 1992 Olympics, 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. First mens' basketball game is against France at. 9:30 a.m. ET (2:30 p.m. local) on July 29. Deron Williams likely to be only Net playing at the Olympics, unless he leaves, they draft a European in June or acquire and international player 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.
Early August - NBA schedule is released. Nets fans will learn who the team will play in its inaugural game at Barclays Center. Will it be the Knicks?
September 5 - Expected completion date for Barclays Center. Expect a couple of shakeout events in early September. Moved back from August 27.
September 13 -16 - Basketball Without Borders, Russia. Expect some Nets' representation at this first BWB event in Russia.
September (TBD) - Nets new uniform design to be unveiled, just before training camp. Also, like the Nets team identity, expect the design to be leaked.
September 28 - Opening Night, Barclays Center. Jay-Z will open the arena with a series of concerts.
October 1 - Nets training camp opens this week.
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. It will likely be earlier.
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.