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How Mirza Teletovic sacrificed millions to play for the Nets

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In an interview with Nate Duncan Thursday, Bobby Marks revealed just how much Mirza Teletovic wanted to play for the Nets in 2012 ... millions of dollars worth.

Marks, until recently the Nets assistant GM, admitted he made a mistake interpreting the salary cap and in order to correct it, the 6'9" sharpshooter had to agree to a smaller contract.

"You went from a team that was under the salary cap to a team that was a potential luxury tax team," said Marks in laying out what was happening at the time.. "I didn't have a grasp on the tax apron or the hard cap or how some of the exceptions work ... You were just learning on the fly.

"Mirza, there was a couple of years when he playing in Spain, he really wanted to come over in the NBA," Marks told Duncan. "He was one of the best players in Spain and originally we had talked about the full mid-level. which would have been $14 or $15 million."

But not long before the deal was cut, Marks realized that if the Nets did that, they'd be hard-capped, meaning they couldn't do any transactions the rest of the season that didn't reduce their payroll. And the Nets wanted to sign Kris Humphries to a two-year $24 million deal. So the Nets had to ask Teletovic to agree to a lesser amount.  Wanting to play for the Nets, he ultimately agreed.

"At the end of the day, we were only able to offer him the tax mid-level which is three years for $10 million. He made a big sacrifice where he left some money on the table to come play in the NBA," Marks noted. "We all learned in that two or three day period how the hard cap works."

The difference was not just significant in absolute terms. Teletovic had a buyout he had to pay his Spanish club and it wasn't small, two million euros, which worked out to more than $2.3 million

Marks spoke as well about his years in New Jersey and Brooklyn as well as this season's NBA free agency.