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January trade could have impact in June draft

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Back on January 21, the Nets made two trades that seemed minor at the time, and basically still are, but on the night of June 26, they might have an impact on who the Nets take in the draft.

Billy King sent Tyshawn Taylor and more than a million dollars in cash considerations to New Orleans for the rights to a 30-year-old Bosnian player, Edin Bavcic, who will never play for the Nets. Then, King shipped Tornike Shengelia to Chicago for Marquis Teague, who would, the Nets hoped, become point guard insurance. The deal worked out better for the Pelicans and Bulls. The Pelicans cut Taylor and used the cash to buy Luke Babbitt out of his Russian league contract. The Bulls, always tight with a buck, saved $300,000 in the Teague-for-Shengelia swap.

The Nets hoped Teague would play better than Taylor --and they saved some money as well-- but after some poor performances, the Nets realized they needed someone else and in March called up Jorge Gutierrez, who got two 10-day deals before signing a two-year deal with a small guarantee. He quickly moved in front of Teague. The savings were lost.

Now, to the consequences. The Nets, like any NBA team, can only spend $3.2 million in cash considerations this fiscal year, from July 1 to June 30.  They sent more than $1.2 million of that total to New Orleans along with Taylor and so are left with a little less than $2 million.  The Nets figured that in a draft like this, even $3 million wouldn't get them a first rounder. So $2 million should get them a second rounder, but how high?  In 2012, they had to pay the Trail Blazers $2 million to buy the 41st pick to take Taylor and had $750,000 left over to pay for the rights to Shengelia at No. 54. Could they get something in early 40's again and if not, is it worth buy two picks in the 50's?  Great draft or not, never much there. Great owner or not, it's still $2 million. Of course, there are permutations that could come into play.

Of course, if Teague suddenly followed the path of his brother, Jeff, all would be forgiven. Marquis just turned 21 and a check of the stat sheets shows that brother Jeff didn't become the solid player he is now until he turned 23.  But as Tim Bontemps points out, Marquis has little time to prove himself. He's now officially on borrowed time. A rookie's fourth year option is exercisable from the last day of his second season through the following October 31, meaning the end of this year's training camp. If, as expected, the Nets don't exercise his option for the fourth year, he becomes a restricted free agent.