You can call it part of the cost-cutting/fiscal responsibility or the youth movement, both of which the Nets are trumpeting this summer, but whatever you call it, Brooklyn's front office is making unprecedented use of partially guaranteed contracts.
For years, the Nets didn't do partial guarantees. From 2004 through 2010, the Nets had issued only one partially guaranteed deal, a $25,000 stipend given shooting guard Robert Hite in 2007. Then, after Mikhail Prokhorov opened his substantial wallet in 2010, the Nets were more willing to take the risk, giving Brian Zoubek $50,000 and Ben Uzoh $35,000. Both were partial guarantees on minimum deals. Uzoh made the team, Zoubek, the Duke seven-footer, had to retire from the game because of back issues.
Since then, the Nets have used partial guarantees, but not to the extend they have this summer. The five players on partial deals is the most in the NBA. Three teams, the 76ers, Jazz and Mavericks have four each. The difference between partial guarantees and the players' full salary amounts to more than $3.4 million, according to calculations by Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders.
The deals range from $50,000 that will be owed Donald Sloan if he's cut before November 1, to Willie Reed, who already has received most of his $947,000 contract --a reported $500,000. Markel Brown, who's a virtual lock to the make the final cut, gets $150,000 on September 1, then the rest of his $845,000 on September 29, just as training camp opens.
Here's the details... as compiled by Pincus:
--Willie Reed, $947,276. $500,000 guaranteed at signing. After the first regular season game, fully guaranteed.
--Markel Brown, $845,059, $150,000 guaranteed until September 1, then fully guaranteed on September 29.
--Quincy Miller, $981,348, $50,000 guaranteed July 15, then another $100,000 guaranteed if not cut before first regular season game and a further $125,000 will be guaranteed on November 15. Contract is fully guaranteed on January 10, when all NBA contracts are guaranteed.
--Ryan Boatright, $525,093. $75,000 guaranteed at signing July 3, then another $125,000 on November 15. Fully guaranteed on January 10.
--Donald Sloan, $947,276. $50,000 if cut before November 1, then $200,000. Fully guaranteed on January 10.
The Nets are likely done with extending contracts. They now have 17 players signed up for training camp. That's as many as they had last year. Of course, they could go one more. One thing's for sure: the scent of money on the table makes for a competitive training camp.