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Is Arron Afflalo a Nets target ... if he opts out?

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Arron Afflalo and the Knicks are engaged in a bizarre war of words.  The 6'5" shooting guard was signed to a two-year, $16 million deal last summer, with a player option for the second year, at $8 million. It's exercisable on June 22 and it's become increasingly obvious that the Knicks do not want him back.

If he does opt out, the Knicks will have $27 million in cap space, not $19 million, enough to sign a max deal with a free agent, someone like, oh, Mike Conley Jr.?  Kurt Rambis, the Knicks interim coach and Phil Jackson acolyte, demoted Afflalo to the bench and he and Rambis have engaged in some bizarre back-and-forths. The latest came Sunday when after Afflalo almost single-handedly brought the Knicks back against the Pacers. Rambis suggested the demotion should raise Afflalo's market value as a free agent. Of course, that's a decision only the player and his agent, Jeff Schwartz, can make.

All this would all be of moderate interest to Nets fans except for this: On Friday night, Chris Carrino and Tim Capstraw discussed Afflalo's situation during the Nets-Knicks game, with Carrino suggesting if the 30-year-old did opt out, "a team across the river" could very well be interested. We dutifully tweeted it out...

Capstraw also spoke highly of Afflalo as a player and noted how important it would be for the Knicks to get Afflalo off the books.

Speculation? Maybe, but years of experience have taught us that broadcasters know a lot more than most.  Recall Ian Eagle's prophetic discussion of Deron Williams as a potential buyout candidate last June, more than two weeks before the deal got done.

So what about Afflalo. It's hard to imagine the Nets making him an offer anywhere near the $8 million deal he has with the Knicks, but maybe a multi-year deal for less money?  And there is the issue of helping the Knicks add cap space. Afflalo has dropped off since his best year, in 2013-14 when he averaged 18.2 points and shot 42.7 percent from deep. But even with the demotion and other issues with the Knicks, he's averaging 13.1 points and shooting 37.8 percent from deep.

And let's not forget Jeff Schwartz, who arranged both the Deron Williams and Joe Johnson buyouts. Schwartz remains friendly with Nets ownership and is now the the NBA's biggest agent, and one of its most creative.  He cannot be pleased with the Knicks treatment of his client. He could make it tough on them.

In other words, stay tuned.