With so much attention Thursday driven by who the Nets would select in the 2016 Draft,there was little appreciation for what very well could be the biggest news of the day. After the Thaddeus Young trade, and with some moves here and there, the Nets could be top three in cap space when free agency opens in a week.
The question of course is can they and will they use? Will they be attractive? Here's Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders on the far end of the range...
The Nets already had a ton of potential cap room this summer, if they stretch out Jack, up to $55.2 mil in max space— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) June 23, 2016
That would put them near the top, if not at the top of available cap space, along with the 76ers and Lakers ... even if they decided to keep Jarrett Jack at full price. It's enough to sign two max players ... if that's the way Sean Marks wants to go . Over the course of the last 24 hours, there reports that two top free agents --one in the NBA, one in the Euroleague-- may be open to offers from the Nets: Rajon Rondo, the controversial but skilled point guard; and Jan Vesely, the 6'11" Czech big man who's resurrected his career in Europe after three tough years in the NBA as a failed lottery pick. Lance Thomas, the Knicks defensive forward, also reportedly is on both Brooklyn and New York's radar.
That's not to say they are the targets. Marks wouldn't identify the players he wants to talk with, just a type..
"Well, if you look at the roster we need a few things!" he said with a laugh. "We know who we're targeting out there and we'll see where it goes. Today we got to put some building blocks on the Nets roster and we'll see where it goes from here.
"I'm not going to comment on who we're going after and so forth. We'll get the right people. We'll get the people that want to come here. If you look at the staff that's here, they're all passionate about being in Brooklyn and supporting the Nets, and that will be important to the players coming here. They're going to be a part of the city. They're going to fight for it. They're going have that passion the same way I will, the same way Kenny will and his staff and my staff will do."
Despite the Nets acknowledged needs, lack of draft picks and 21-win season, Marks thinks the Nets have a lot of reasons to be optimistic...
"There's a lot of reasons why Brooklyn's attractive," he said. "First off the commitment from ownership being number one. They've stood behind here and said 'we're gonna build this facility' that you guys are all in.
"We're not afraid to spend money. We're going to spend money in the right places. And their [ownership's] commitment to winning. It goes all the way down to bringing the D-League team we're bringing in here. Having those guys under our umbrella, paying attention to those guys and we'll see what happens.
"I don't need to tell everybody else what an incredible place this is. It was the same reason I was sold on coming here, and I'm sure many other people will feel the same."
But can he attract top-flight free agents to even take a meeting when the roster is an amalgam of a couple of veterans and four players under the age of 22? Players want to win and player agents want to make their clients happy. In building a staff--and a cache of cap space-- Marks has done well, but the new line about Brooklyn must be disproved: the Nets have every a good team needs but players.