When his Russian bosses ask Billy King for the fiscal consequences of the Deron Williams buyout, the answer will be ... less.
The bottom line is that the Nets saved between $40 million and $50 million in salary, luxury and repeater taxes this season and around $17 million in salary in 2016-17, but within those numbers are basketball consequences, both good and bad.
Here are a few...
--The Nets will go into the 2016 summer of free agency with around $39 million in cap space, reports Howard Beck. That will give them among the biggest caches of cash in the NBA next summer. Joe Johnson and Jarrett Jack come off the cap (although Jack has a $500,000 guarantee). To make Brooklyn attractive to free agents, they'll also have to win. That won't be so easy.
--With the savings gained from D-Will’s buyout, the Nets will be down to $81.3 million for 12 players with guaranteed deals, writes Mike Mazzeo. That puts the Nets under the luxury tax line of $84.7 million. They also now have full MLE, the bi-annual exception and the ability to sign-and-trade for players, but using any of them comes with a big consequence: they would be hard-capped, meaning the team can make no moves that don't reduce the payroll. No vets minimums, nothing.
--They will have more leeway in signing those players who have partial guarantees. Even if each of the five players with partials --Willie Reed, Markel Brown, Cory Jefferson, Ryan Boatwright and Earl Clark-- made the team and were given full salaries, the Nets wouldn't top the tax threshold, notes Devin Kharpertian. It should also make it easier for the Nets to keep 15 players rather than going with 14 or even 13. With the luxury tax and repeater tax, a player making $1 million at the end of the bench could have cost the team three times that much.
--Don't expect the Nets to get anywhere near the luxury tax again ... ever. Two reasons why: 1) the TV rights-inflated salary cap will kick in after next season giving every team a lot of room and 2) the new "model" is fiscal responsibility. The Nets paid out nearly $123 million in luxury taxes alone --and about $400 million in taxes and salaries-- in the three years since they moved to Brooklyn.
--The stretch provision of the new CBA will require the Nets to carry $5.5 million on the cap each year through 2020-21. In the first two years (the last two years on D-Will's contract), that will be big dropoff from what was owed the point guard. The final three years, 2018-19, 2019-2020 and 2020-21, will be dead capweight, but as John Schuhmann points out, the stretch numbers will be a declining percentage of the salary cap as the years go on.
Is the roster complete? Close but probably not quite final.
With 17 players under contract --either guaranteed (12) or partially guaranteed (5)-- the Nets are above the regular season limit of 15, but they can bring up to 20 players into camp. They could, for example, invite Cliff Alexander, the undrafted Kansas big who's improved with each game in Orlando but is still raw at 19. Xavier Thames, taken last year with the 59th pick, has said he has an invitation.
On the other side of the ledger, they'd like to get value out of Steve Blake. The ideal situation is find a new home for the 35-year-old, maybe for some picks. And Earl Clark's contract seems like it's there to balance a future trade. He doesn't get his partial guarantee --$200,000-- until October 29, the day the NBA sets rosters for the season.
Deron Williams Bought Out: 5 Implications For Brooklyn Nets - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game