clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Point Guard options: from doing nothing to doing a big deal

New, comments
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Like most NBA coaches, Lionel Hollins wants three point guards, usually with different skills.  The loss of Jarrett Jack puts a hole in the rotation.  How badly the Nets will want to fill it is the issue.

Here are some options.  Or more to the point, some speculation.

--Do nothing (or next to nothing)

The Nets could start Shane Larkin, give Donald Sloan Larkin's minutes and use either Markel Brown or Sergey Karasev as the third-stringer, seeing what they can do.

They could also cut one of them and start auditioning players after Tuesday when NBA teams can sign 10-day deals.

--Apply for the DPE

The Nets can apply for a disabled player exception as soon as Monday.  Under the CBA, the Nets could receive a $3.15 million DPE, half Jack's salary, which they could use to 1) sign free agents, 2) acquire a lowly paid player on an expiring deal in return for something as minimal as a second round pick or a pick swap; or 3) claim a player off waivers as long as the player makes less than $3.25 million --the DPE plus $100,000.  In a trade, the DPE can only be used on a player with an expiring contract

As Bobby Marks tweeted yesterday, a DPE could come in handy at the deadline, February 18, whether the Nets are interested in a point guard or not.  It's another trade asset.

--Sign a free agent to a minimum deal

Tony Wroten is still out there, but the Nets have had two chances to take him in the last week and declined. He is seen as a turnover machine and there's no indication that the Nets have new interest post-Jack.  Russ Smith, the undersized speedster released by the Grizzlies last week, is a Brooklynite. And there's always Nate Robinson, but he never stuck us as a Billy King kind of guy. And now, he suffered an ACL tear himself.

Again, the Nets would have to drop someone to do that.

--Sign someone out of the D-League

There are a few D-Leaguer PGs who the Nets once had interest in: Toure' Murry, the former Knicks and Wizards PG who now plays for the Texas Legends; Lorenzo Brown, a former Springfield Armor property who now plays for the Grand Rapids Drive; and DeAndre Liggins, the former Kentucky and Thunder guard who now plays for the Sioux Falls Skyforce and leads the D-League in assists.  And of course,  Ryan Boatright played well for the Nets in summer league but he's seen as an undersized shooting guard.  He's averaging 2.2 assists for the Drive.

There are other D-Leaguers like Elliot Williams of the Santa Cruz Warriors and Jimmer Fredette of the Westchester Knicks who are combo guards as well..

The problem again is that any of these options would require the Nets to move someone to make room for a new player.  If they can't clear the roster with a trade, they would have to waive a player and likely pay them, then add the new salary.  The Nets are $1.41 million under the luxury tax threshold. Are any of them worth it?

--Try to trade for a point guard

Using their limited assets like Brown, Karasev, maybe Thomas Robinson or Andrea Bargnani and/or the DPE, they could try to swing a deal.  Who might be available? Here's one name: Delon Wright, the former Utah guard taken by the Raptors, is stuck in the D-League in back in Kyle Lowry and Cory Joseph. He's someone the Nets liked before the Draft  But Toronto would almost certainly want a draft pick and the Nets don't have any, remember.

--Go for the bigger deal

Try to turn Joe Johnson into assets that would include a point guard.  We don't have any trade machine links to offer, but we think this is the least likely possibility.  Johnson makes a lot of money and isn't playing well. The Nets are loath to take on salary in 2016-17 and would almost certainly have to.

--Trade Jack's contract

A healthy Jack might have brought back something, maybe even a pick.  He could have been attractive to a contender.  Not so much now.  But as an expiring (with a $500,000 partial guarantee), the Nets might be able to trade him for non-expiring deal, but like the bigger deal mentioned above, it would require cutting into their precious cap space for 2016.

The Nets don't have to do anything in the immediate future.  They're not making the playoffs so there's no rush. The DPE will take a few days to process.

Bottom line for us: The priority should be on finding a younger player, someone who might just be worth keeping next year, not someone who might help them win a few more this season.  It's all about the future and development.