Joe Harris wasn’t traded Thursday despite rumors galore that he would be. Zach Lowe writes Friday morning he believes he knows why.
In an article on Jeremy Lin opting into his third and final years of his three-year, $36 million deal —and the Nets limited cap space— Lowe suggests the Nets have made a decision to retain Harris, an unrestricted free agent, for the long term.
“The Nets view Harris as a potential core player going forward. Brooklyn was not expected to chase star agents this summer regardless,” wrote Lowe noting that Harris is among several Nets veterans who the team will look at this summer.
With Lin officially on board, the Nets are slated to have only about $15 million in cap space this summer -- well short of the amount needed to add a maximum-salaried player. That does not include potential new deals for outgoing free agents Nik Stauskas, Joe Harris, Quincy Acy and Jahlil Okafor.
Of course, only a handful of teams will have more cap space than the Nets. Pundits have suggested that Harris, who’s improved in virtually every aspect of the game, could earn $5 million to $8 million in annual salary next summer. Harris has said he’d like to return.
His agent told Brian Lewis that he believes the feeling is mutual.
“Honestly, Joe is obviously having a terrific year, and has become really valuable. He loves it there in Brooklyn, loves playing for Kenny and the Nets. They’ve invested a lot into him, developing him. He’s just focused on getting better every day,” Mark Bartelstein said.
In other post-deadline news, Timofey Mozgov’s agent said rumors of a buyout for his client are untrue.
“We had no discussions about buyout,” Stanislav Ryzhov told The Post. “Yes, he’s not happy with his role — he’s [a] very motivated player and we are sure he deserves playing time, and he really can help Nets on the court. But he’s [a] true professional and keeps working hard.”
Mozgov played in the Nets loss vs. the Pistons, scoring four points and blocking two shots in seven minutes. With the Nets invested in Jarrett Allen and Jahlil Okafor, it’s going to be difficult for the 7’1” Russian to get many minutes over the next two years after this one, when he’ll earn more than $30 million.
- Sources: Nets guard Jeremy Lin exercises $12.5M option for 2018-19 - Zach Lowe - ESPN
- Dante Cunningham deal adds depth where Nets need it most - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Jeremy Lin does the expected, opts in to third year of Nets deal - Brian Lewis - New York Post