ESPN’s Marc Stein started off the July 4th weekend fireworks Friday with a tweet suggesting the Wizards and Pistons are preparing for big Nets offer sheets when free agency opens at midnight.
League sources: Wizards (Otto Porter) & Pistons (Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) bracing for rich Brooklyn interest in their respective RFA studs— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2017
There’s no surprise here, of course. Both have long been rumored as Nets target with some reports suggesting the Nets could max one or both... then wait to see if the Wizards and Pistons will match. The Wizards have told anyone who will listen that they will match any offer tendered.
Wizards are firmly committed to retaining Otto Porter and intend to match any offer, if it comes to that, league sources told @TheVertical.— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) June 30, 2017
In fact, the Wizards could thwart the Nets and short cut their plans. Long time Wizards writer Mike Wise expects Washington to be aggressive early, maybe even at midnight.
The Wizards will reportedly make an "aggressive" offer to Otto Porter as free agency begins https://t.co/DIBhMaTh5i— Bullets Forever (@BulletsForever) June 30, 2017
Under the new CBA, teams can tender offer sheets as soon as midnight Saturday. Or they can wait. In fact, the 48-hour matching period doesn’t begin until the annual free agency/trade moratorium ends at noon July 6.
So it might be better to wait until then to present the offer sheet to the restricted free agent’s current team. Why give the team more time to plan their strategy?
If the Nets present an offer sheet to a restricted free agent’s current team any time before noon on July 6, the matching period ends midnight on the 8th. If the offer sheet is presented after noon, it ends 48 hours later.
But Stein’s colleague, Zach Lowe, isn’t so sure about Nets interest in KCP, particularly after last week’s trade. He thinks it could be an either/or situation.
Does Brooklyn, heavy on guards in the wake of the Lopez/Russell deal, really want to hand Kentavious Caldwell-Pope a max offer sheet? If not -- if it prefers Porter -- who should Detroit fear?
The Nets currently don’t have enough to max out both and that’s what it might take to pry them away from their current teams. (Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders wrote Friday that the Nets could have as much as $34 million in cap space, depending on team options.)
Lowe also hints that the Heat would like to get rid of Tyler Johnson and notes that the one-year moratorium on trading him to the Nets expires soon. Of course, he notes that same guard-heavy roster that might keep the Nets from being interested in TJ.
Tyler Johnson is a key trade piece to watch, this summer and going forward, as the Heat seek flexibility. His salary jumps to $19 million in 2018-19 thanks to terms of Brooklyn's offer sheet from last summer, and the one-year prohibition on the Nets trading for him expires soon. Brooklyn has more than enough cap room to fit Johnson. It also has a stocked, guard-heavy roster light on bigs in the wake of the D'Angelo Russell deal.
Would the Nets go for another guard, whether Johnson or Caldwell-Pope? Don’t be so dismissive of the possibility. Sean Marks was quite open after Monday’s press conference that the Nets are in “talent acquisition” mode and that Kenny Atkinson has proven ability to get his players to “fit together.”
Also, other than Jeremy Lin, the rest of the Nets guards are all on rookie deals or vets minimums.
Without mentioning the Nets, Lowe writes that Memphis might have a tough time bringing JaMychal Green back. Green, a 6’9” power forward, has been occasionally rumored as a Nets target.
- All the biggest questions in another wild NBA offseason - Zach Lowe - ESPN