Billy King and his Russian bosses have their work cut out for them.
It is now crunchtime for the Nets off-season. Over the next three weeks, there will be big decisions affecting the franchise's short and long term future, starting on June 22. That's when Thaddeus Young has to tell Billy King whether he will opt into his $10.2 million contract next season or go into free agency.
In the seven days after that, the Nets will no doubt talk Draft Night trades, make at least two and perhaps three picks at the Draft and hear what Brook Lopez in planning on his $16.7 million player option. After that of course it's free agency and then the long summer, punctuated by summer league and FIBA Europe.
Here's the calendar...
June 6-8 -- Adidas Treviso Euro Camp, held just outside Venice, Italy. The Pre-Draft Combine for overseas --primarily European-- players. Same drill -- interviews, measurements, 5 x 5 workouts, medical tests. This year's field of international prospects is not that deep and so neither is the group invited to Treviso.
June 10-12 - Draft workout resume at the Nets training facility in East Rutherford, NJ. Expect more first round possibilities next week ... and the two weeks after that.
June 15 -- NBA Draft Early Entry Withdrawl. Underclassmen have until today to return to school. But if they have hired an agent, their eligibility is done. Same deadline applies to international prospects. Timothe Luwawu, one of the top players overseas, is unlikely to stay in the draft without a first round guarantee.
June 22 - Thaddeus Young must decide on a player option by this date. If he does opt out, he will be an unrestricted free agent. But with national TV money going to flood the system in 2016, leading to much bigger deals, he could stay.
June 25 -- 2015 NBA Draft, Barclays Center. The Nets have two picks, the Hawks' first round pick at No. 29, and their own in the second round at No. 41. Barclays expects 12,000 fans at the event. Don't be surprised if the Nets buy a pick in the second round to find a Euro who can be stashed and developed for a year or two. It will be the fifth consecutive draft held in the Nets home arena, two at Prudential Center, three at Barclays Center. Following the draft, Nets scouts will start calling the undrafted, offering them spots on summer league team.
June 29 -- The two other Nets with player options must decide whether to stay with Brooklyn another season or try their hand in free agency. The two are Brook Lopez and Alan Anderson. Anderson has already said he's going to opt out of his $1.3 million deal. Lopez can either stick around another year, reap the big salaries the new national TV rights contracts permit in 2016, or seek longer term deals now. The current thinking is that Lopez will opt out.
June 30 -- Nets must offer Mirza Teletovic a qualifying offer ($4.21 million) for next season or he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The Nets have said they expect to do so. Jerome Jordan will not be offered qualifying money but could still return.
July 1 -- The Nets can talk to free agents, but can't sign them. Unless things change dramatically and unexpectedly on draft night, the team will again be limited to the mini-MLE of around $3.4 million to sign free agents. And if Lopez opts out, then they will have to make a decision on how much they want to spend to keep him. Expect the first rumors of signings on July 2. Biggest deals get revealed first. A lot of this is in the works even now.
Those Nets with expiring deals become free agents as well. Earl Clark, Darius Morris, Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson. In the case of Brown, his contract goes from non-guaranteed to partially guaranteed on July 1. He will receive $100,000 if he's still on the roster which is highly likely. Cory Jefferson will get $75,000 on July 15. Each month they stay on the roster, they get a bigger guarantee until September 29, when they become fully guaranteed.becomes a restricted free agent meaning the Nets can match any offer. Four Nets have non or partially guaranteed deals:
July 6 - First day Nets can trade Earl Clark ... because he was signed so late in the season.
July 9 -- Official free agent signings begin. Lots of players sitting at tables signing papers filled with many zeros.
July 4-10 -- Orlando Summer League, the first of two summer leagues where the Nets will field a team, opens at the Magic practice facility. Ten teams will participate, including one of unsigned D-League players. Expected to play: Mason Plumlee, Brown, Jefferson, Xavier Thames, the 59th pick last year, as well as this year's draft picks and those players the Nets scouted and liked but went undrafted.
July 10-20 -- Las Vegas Summer League. For the first time since 2008, the Nets will field teams in two summer leagues. The Vegas league has more teams (24) and its games are open to the public. (Road trip?). Free agents can switch teams, playing for one team in Orlando and another in Las Vegas.
July 24 - European national teams will gather at training camps for Eurobasket 2015. Bojan Bogdanovic will play for Croatia and Mirza Teletovic may play for Bosnia, depending on the status of his NBA contract.. Sergey Karasev won't be joining Team Russia but hope to be able to play for Russia. He is in full rehab now from his March knee surgery. He expects to resume contact basketball in August. (He's told Stefan Bondy he's likely to travel with the summer league teams to Orlando and Las Vegas, where he got married in a helicopter!)
The actual games start September 5 after a round of exhibition ("friendly") games and run through the championship game on September 20 in Lille, France, Some teams, like Croatia, have as many as nine "friendlies." The final game is 10 days before the opening of NBA training camps. Croatia is expected to be a title contender and if both Teletovic plays for Bosnia, they'll be at least respectable. Russia is rebuilding. Two years ago, Bogdanovic made the first team All-Eurobasket. And of course, the Nets could draft or sign other Europeans.
First week of August -- NBA schedule released. Will Nets wear their neat new cream-colored, "Christmas Card" uniforms on December 25?
Late July/August -- Teams fill out their rosters with mostly vets minimum deals.
September 30 - Likely date for Media Day, the first gathering the new roster.
October 1 -- Training camp opens, but not at the new $50 million HSS Training facility on 39th Street in the Industry City section of Brooklyn. It won't be ready for training camp or the start of the season, so the team's 38-year tenure in New Jersey continues. Thames has said he's been invited. Who knows who else will be there to pick up their jerseys.
October 26 - Roster cutdown day. If Earl Clark is still on the roster, he gets $200,000 partial guarantee.