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Brooklyn Nets at the crossroads

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

As Day 3 of free agency dawns Sunday, the Nets are at a crossroads. They've already got their top target who many consider the biggest "value signing" of free agency but they need a lot more.

Here's a summary of Days 1 and 2...

--They filled their biggest need, getting Jeremy Lin, the point guard they wanted, at $36 million over three years, which is $113 million less than Memphis will pay Mike Conley, their point guard for five years. The deal worked for both sides. Lin has a player option in year three and a trade kicker.  The Nets got a good player they can market.

--Their only other signings thus far are of journeymen bigs: 7-foot stretch 5 Justin Hamilton from Valencia in Spain, and 6'8" rebounder Tervor Booker -- for a total of $24.5 million over two years.  Pundits have praised both signings as under-the-radar moves at reasonable rates.

--The top target right now, at least according to reports, is Jamal Crawford, the reigning Sixth Man of the Year,. Fed up with a low-ball offer from the Clippers the 36-year-old is being pursued by (at least) the Nets, the 76ers, Celtics .... and the Warriors, who must be considered the leading contender. Start the bidding at at least $10 million a year. At least.

--Another top target Kent Bazemore rejected them. According to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constiution, the Nets offered the swingman the same four years and $72 million that the Hawks --and Lakers-- offered. Pundits thought the Kenny Atkinson connection could help with Bazemore. It might have gotten them in the room, but it didn't get them his handshake.

--Other targets, for a variety of reasons, reportedly said no, including Jared Dudley (money), Sergio Rodriguez (playing time), and Marvin Williams (unknown). They apparently said no to Rajon Rondo.

--They may or may not be contemplating offers to Allen Crabbe of the Blazers and perhaps Tyler Johnson of the Heat, although that seems less and less likely.  No team has tendered an offer to a restricted free agent yet in this free agency. With all that cap space, the RFAs current team can match.

So, they now have 10 players under contract or about to sign contracts In order of next year's salary, that's Brook Lopez, Jeremy Lin, Trevor Booker, Bojan Bogdanovic,  Justin Hamilton, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert, Chris Mcullough, Sean Kilpatrick and Isaiah Whitehead. They've also tendered a qualifying offer to Markel Brown.  And they have the second biggest stash of cap space left, $33 million. Only the 76ers have more, at $46 million.

The biggest holes, as of Sunday morning, start with the bench. There is a gaping hole behind Jeremy Lin. The back-up point guards right now are Isaiah Whitehead, a second round pick, and Yogi Ferrell, an undrafted player with a partial guarantee. Perhaps Caris LeVert will get time at the point but it's uncertain when he'll be ready, basketball wise.  Swingman remains a deficiency as well. Bojan Bogdanovic,  Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Sean Kilpatrick and Caris LeVert aren't going to shock the world.  The Nets also need more bigs.

The next few days could bring other signings.  We don't know who they may have approached overseas. Nor do we know if they still have interest in Brandon Jennings, who they were ready to work out Friday in Los Angeles. The Nets could also benefit if teams with limited or complicated cap space want to dump a player for next-to-nothing.

Bottom line: The Nets won 21 games this past season and are not a top destination as a result.  They have no picks to speak of until 2019 and the only way to get them is to trade away players as they did on Draft Night, sending an established 15-and-9 veteran to a contender in return for a mid first rounder.

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