The Nets have 13 players under guaranteed deals, but two are barely above the vets minimum (Wayne Ellington and Shane Larkin), three are rookie deals below $1.6 million (Sergey Karasev, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough) and another two are vets minimum deals (Andrea Bargnani, Thomas Robinson and Markel Brown).
The remaining five (Joe Johnson, Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Jarrett Jack and Bojan Bogdanovic) are the only players with salaries above $1.6 million.
All but one of the remaining seven players still toiling on the practice courts of East Rutherford are on deals with either no guarantees or tiny guarantees below $75,000. Only Willie Reed, who undergoes thumb ligament surgery Friday, has a big guarantee, $500,000 on $947,000. And contrary to conventional wisdom, Reed's contract now seems almost certain to be guaranteed. Teams can cut injured players on guarantees, but if they do, they have to pay full freight, the whole deal.
So that leaves one spot, with the likely candidates being third point guard Donald Sloan, who has a $50,000 guarantee, and Dahntay Jones, who has none. Lionel Hollins has said nice things about Jones, his defense and his toughness, but he's also talked about the need for a third point guard and Sloan has indeed played well or well enough when given the chance this preseason.
Jones is, at this point, an unlikely choice to stick around, considering that he's the team's oldest player and coming off a season where he averaged 3.7 minutes per game in 33 outings with the Clippers --and averaged less than a point, an assist and a rebound. He thinks he has something unique, however, the told Tim Bontemps.
"It was a unique opportunity where they didn’t have anybody like me, and where I thought if I played hard and did what I did, I would have a unique opportunity to possibly make the team," he said. "I just thought it was a good situation." he said, referring to his combination of experience, defense and toughness.
He also knows Hollins from their time together in Memphis and the Ewing, NJ, native says playing for the Nets would fulfill a dream of his.
"I always wanted to be a Net in any capacity, Brooklyn or New Jersey, to represent where I’m from for my friends and family," Jones said. "It was a chance I thought I had to take advantage of."
Will it happen? We'll start to see players waived in the next few days. And of course, this being Billy King, there's always a chance at a trade.
- Nets longshot Dahntay Jones promises defense, Jersey cred - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Willie Reed tears ligament in thumb, which could help him stick with Nets - Dan Feldman - NBC Sports