The moment of truth has arrived. Thursday is the NBA Draft, then a week later, it's the beginning of free agency. The Nets have only the 55th pick in the Draft, but both Alex Kennedy and Mike Mazzeo report the Nets are likely to get into the first round. But neither had details of what i might take.
Here's what to look for, starting Tuesday: Rumors, rumors, rumors. The rumors will intensify through Wednesday and Thursday before culminating Thursday night.
June 23 -- NBA Draft at Barclays Center. No first rounder, at least for now. Boston will pick with the Nets first rounder. Brooklyn has to swap second rounders with the Clippers. The difference? A lot, 21 places, from No. 34 to 55. Even if they can't get into the first round, the Nets will likely buy a pick or two, as they have every year but 2013 since Prokhorov bought the team. Those second rounders could be signed to a Long Island Nets contract with the Nets retaining the players' NBA rights.
June 24 -- What some call the third round of the Draft. After the 60th pick, GMs and scouting directors make calls to agents of undrafted but promising prospects, offering summer league gigs or even a training camp deal. In the case of training camp deals, the team can offer small guarantees, like the Nets did with Ryan Boatright last year, giving him $75,000.
June 26 -- Bojan Bogdanovic and his Croatian national team play Canada again in a"friendly" -- or exhibition-- game in Croatia. Anthony Bennett plays for Canada.
June 27 -- Trade exception of $1,357,080 from the Mason Plumlee trade expires. If it's going to be used, expect it to be used on Draft Night.
June 29 -- Two Nets with player options for 2016-17 must decide on whether to exercise them: Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington are owed a total of $3,067,000. Kennedy says Larkin will opt out as well. No word yet on Ellington, who has been seen working out at HSS Training Center.
June 30 -- Nets must decide whether to exercise a $6.3 million team option on Jarrett Jack or pay Jack a $500,000 guarantee. Jack's coming off a devastating knee injury.
June 30 -- Last day the Nets can make Markel Brown and Willie Reed restricted free agents. They must offer Brown $1,180,431 for 2016-17 and Reed $1,215,696. Brown is likely, Reed obviously is not.
July 1 -- Free agency begins. The Nets are expected to have around $45 million to play with, the seventh most in the NBA. Teams can contact but not yet sign free agents. However, rumors of signings start to leak out just after midnight. Biggest stars decide first.
July 4 - 9 -- Croatia (Bojan Bogdanovic) and Italy (Andrea Bargnani) will face off in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Torino, Italy. It will be difficult for either to advance to the Olympics. Competition is tough.
July 7 - Moratorium on signings ends. Teams can officially sign free agents. Nets can sign.if they want, but likely won't. This is also the date when the official salary cap and luxury tax figures are released following an audit. The latest estimate is a salary cap of $94 million and salary floor --the minimum payroll-- of $86.9 million.
July 8 - 18 -- Las Vegas Summer League. Nets won't participate in Orlando Summer League this year, ending a decade-long run in the Magic-run league. Last summer, the Nets participated in both Orlando and Las Vegas. Expect Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough, Sean Kilpatrick and Markel Brown (if signed) to play as well as any players drafted two weeks earlier. So far, only one invite has been disclosed. Point guard Josh Magette, who played for the L.A. Defenders last year, has accepted the Nets offer.
July 13 -- Trade exception of $2,170,465 from the Steve Blake trade to Detroit expires. Actually, with every team jumping in cap space, this TE has to be used by June 30 or it's worthless.
August 5 - 21 -- Rio Olympics. As of now, no Nets player is likely to play. Will Weaver, Kenny Atkinson's special assistant, is an assistant coach for Team Australia. He's currently the only Net player or staff likely to have a role in Rio. Juan Pablo Vaulet essentially opted out of Team Argentina last week week, saying he needed the rest.
August 14 -- D-League National Tryouts at Basketball City in New York. Players from around the country gather to see if they can get a D-League contract. Normally, about 30 of the 220 entrants find their way onto a D-League roster. Most recent tryout alumni to get an NBA contract: Jonathon Simmons of the Spurs. Registration is $350.
August 31 -- Stretch payment deadline. If the Nets wanted to stretch a player, they must do it by this date.
August 31 - September 17 -- FIBA Europe Qualifying Round will play out at various venues. European national teams who didn't make the Olympics or the Olympic qualifying round must compete for places in the FIBA Eurobasket in 2017. New assistant coach Chris Fleming is head coach of German national team so expect him to be over there.
Early September - D-League expansion draft usually takes place around now. The three new clubs - The Long Island Nets, WIndy City Bulls and Greensboro Swarm -- will get a shot at grabbing players from a pool of unprotected players among the league's established teams.
September 10 -- If the Nets don't sign Juan Pablo Vaulet, they must extend him non-guarantee tender by this date or lose his rights and make him an unrestricted free agent. It's highly likely they will retain his rights.
October 1 -- Training camps open with Media Day.
October 11 -- Nets travel to Miami to play the Heat in a preseason game, only one scheduled so far. It will be the farthest the Nets will travel for a preseason game in years. Normally, the team sticks to the Northeast.
Early November - D-League draft. This is a conference call affair, nothing like the big league's extravaganza. The L.I. Nets will have picks.
Mid-November - Long Island Nets open their first season in Barclays Center. Expect it to be a double-header with the Brooklyn Nets.