The good thing about a "no leaks" policy is that the entire NBA doesn't know your business, but the bad part is that fans and media don't have any information until a deal goes down. Enter wild speculation.
There is one thing everyone knows, no matter what the policy is. The glaring issue with the Nets last season and still is their lack of depth at the point guard position. None of the three PGs who finished the season may be back. Donald Sloan has said he wants back next season and Shane Larkin might opt in but neither are NBA starters. Jarrett Jack isn't expected to be back, the Nets are expected to give him his $500,000 guarantee and waive the 32-year old point guard who is coming off of a torn ACL.
There are certainly rumors about who they'll be pursuing in free agency. There are big names and European names.
The biggest names being thrown around early on are the ones, like Mike Conley and Jeremy Lin, who fans and pundits think could turn things around quickly. Conley is the best point guard on the market, but he has an injury history and will require a max contract to lure him. That means $30 million in years three through five of a new deal. Lin on the other hand is coming off of one of his best NBA seasons with the Hornets and he has ties to new Nets coach Kenny Atkinson. Lin has praised Atkinson for his role in creating LinSanity with the Knicks. How much would he require? A lot but not the max.
Then, there are the European names like Nando DeColo, Malcolm Delaney and Milos Teodosic who are intriguing but very much uncertain. Although the Nets have been linked to DeColo and Delaney, the level of interest is hard to determine and only Delaney has said he wants to play in the NBA next season.
Although Conley and Lin are two of the most talked about point guards on the market, and DeColo, Delaney and Teodosic are the most intriguing, there are other names that the Nets could have interest in, each with their own question marks. They too are intriguing, particularly when your head coach has a reputation as the "point guard whisperer" someone who can get more out of a point guard than most. Seth Curry, Brandon Jennings and Austin Rivers are point guards who could help the Nets out and not cost as much money. But each carries risks.
Seth Curry is coming off of a breakout season with the Kings. Per 36 minutes, the "other Curry" averaged 15.6 points while shooting 46 percent from the field and 45 percent from three-point territory. At 25, he's still unproven for the most part, but he has those genes. Curry's brother Steph is the reigning 2-time MVP, while his father Dell had a successful 16-year NBA career..
Brandon Jennings is another point guard that Brooklyn might consider going for in free agency. Jennings has proven himself as a quality starting point guard in the NBA, but that was before he tore his left achilles. Prior to the injury, Jennings never averaged less than 15.4 points per game in a season, but in his one season after the injury, Jennings only put up 6.9 points in 18.1 minutes per game.
There's no guarantee that Jennings, 26 will ever return to what he used to be, but his production can't be much worse then what the Nets had last season. The Nets could sign Jennings in hopes that he returns to his form before surgery and hope that Atkinson could help further develop his game. Again, this is all speculation. We don't have access to his medical records either. Achilles injuries are right up there with ACL tears on the list of career-ending issues.
It's funny how one game could change the entire way the public perceives a player and that's the case with Austin Rivers. Rivers had his best statistical season last year averaging 8.9 points while shooting 44 percent in 22 minutes per game.
The last that the NBA saw of Austin Rivers this year was in game 6 of the playoffs versus the Portland Trail Blazers where Rivers showed an innate sense of toughness and a desire to win.
Rivers didn't let an elbow to the face that forced him to basically play with one eye stop him from contributing. Rivers scored 21 points and had 8 assists. Although the Clippers lost, Rivers gained a ton of respect for his gritty performance.
Rivers, 23 is a perfect example of a player that the Nets could bring in hoping that Atkinson can help improve his game and Rivers is still young enough to get better as a player with the right guidance. Moreover, Rivers has a famous father in Doc just as Seth Curry has a famous brother in Steph and he may want to break out from Dad's shadow, leave the comfort of the Clippers bench. Settling 3,000 miles east might be what he needs to succeed.
There is doubt that anyone of three are starting point guards in the NBA. Some league sources think that Conley and only Conley is guaranteed to turn things around. If they don't get Conley --or Lin-- do they settle for one of these three and hope for the best in 2017, when the selection might be better and broader? Playing the guessing game is something that will no doubt consume Nets fans from now until there's a press conference in July.