As Bobby Marks said on an Instagram video Sunday night...
“To the people out there who say it isn’t fair, Brooklyn gets better, the rich get richer, my answer is ... tough.”
Indeed, the rich have gotten richer and the Nets onslaught isn’t over yet. They retain more than enough flexibility to make a trade, sign another buyout candidate or offer 10-day contracts to prospects. They have the flexibility. As one ND fan said following the Blake Griffin signing, the scariest hours for the NBA may be what Sean Marks can do with cap space!
Here’s a summary of where the Nets are...
After signing Griffin, reportedly to a $1.22 million vets minimum deal with a cap hit of $776,000, the Nets retain a lot of flexibility as they approach two deadlines over the next month, the trade deadline on March 25 and the buyout deadline on April 9.
As of 6 p.m. Monday, the Nets have
—12 players, including Griffin, on standard NBA contract,
—two players on two-way deals and
—two roster openings.
They also have some roster wiggle-room in that they can move either Reggie Perry or Chris Chiozza from a two-way contract to a standard one. They’ve done that in the past. They could also sign players to 10-day deals (including any of the three whose 10-days expired this weekend). Just don’t expect that to happen until at least Thursday, the date of the Nets next game. No reason to start a 10-day when there are no games or practices.
The presumption is that one or two of the recent 10-days will get called back for a second 10-day, the most possible. Andre Roberson, Tyler Cook and Iman Shumpert know the system. Roberson played the most minutes of the three by far. But there’s no certainty (and it should be noted that Griffin will wear No. 2 which had been Cook’s number.) Also, under league rules, after being signed, a 10-day player can be released at any point without having to worry about waivers. So if another buyout candidate arises, the Nets can move quickly.
How active will the Nets be at the deadline? Considering Sean Marks’ history and the availability of two roster spots plus the two exceptions, expect the Nets to make moves. They could probably use some more help upfront but they might want to replenish the draft cupboard, left bare by the Harden trade. The Nets agreement to swap picks in 2021, 2023, 2025 and 2027 means they can’t trade those picks unless they can acquire a second first rounder in those drafts. That would seem to be a priority.
Spencer Dinwiddie, who’s unlikely to return this season after his ACL tear despite a grind-it-out rehab, has reportedly drawn interest from teams who want to acquire his Bird Rights. A note: if the Nets trade Dinwiddiie before using his DPE, that exception will go away. If on the other hand, he returns to play, the Nets would still retain it.
As for buyouts, Brooklyn still has the DPE and its taxpayers MLE, which could be used to sign a player to more than vets minimum if that’s what he required to sign. Griffin didn’t but others might and with the two exceptions, the Nets have financial advantage most of their fellow contenders do not. The names being floated out there as potential buyout candidates include the Cavs’ Andre Drummond, who the Lakers are reportedly interested in; the Bulls Otto Porter Jr., who’s drawn drawn attention from the Warriors; and the Pelicans J.J. Redick, who’s been linked to the Nets, Knicks and 76ers. Redick has a home in Brooklyn (as does Kevin Love!) What’s the Nets interest in any of them?
With Griffin’s signing, the Nets now have had 24 players under contract this season. The franchise record is 26. It’s a near-certainty to be broken.