The NBA stretch run is upon us. The Nets have 19 regular season games left and as everyone knows, the “Big Three” have only played seven games and 186 minutes together (six starts). With the roster seemingly set following Alize Johnson’s multi-year signing Sunday, expect a shift in strategy with less experimentation, more integration. There are few deadlines related to the rest of the season, but NBA Draft and free agency isn’t that far off.
There are two interesting dates in April: the WNBA Draft is Thursday and Joe Tsai’s Liberty have four picks in the top 30. Also, we added a new entry: April 25, the Oscars. Kevin Durant is nominated.
Here ya go...
—April 15 - WNBA Draft. Liberty currently hold overall picks Nos. 6, 17, 25 and 29. Will WNBA schedule be announced?
—April 16 - James Harden hamstring to be re-evaluated
—April 19 - Dinwiddie DPE expires. How could it be used if not used at the deadline? A DPE can also be used to claim players off waivers or sign players who had been cut before the April 9 deadline ... as long as there’s an open roster spot and as this point, there is not.
—April 25 - Academy Awards. Kevin Durant (and Mike Conley) were executive producers on the short film “Two Distant Strangers,” nominated for the Academy Award in the Best Live-Action Short Film category. (Nets are at home vs. Phoenix.)
—May 13-15 - Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony for Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and former Net Kevin Garnett.
—May 16 - Regular season ends with Jarrett Allen’s return to Brooklyn.
—May 17-to-21 - Play-in tournament for 7-to-10 seeds. The Nos. 7 and 8 seeds need to win win once to stay in playoffs; Nos. 9 and 10 need to win twice to move up. Important in that with Nets high up in the East, their first round opponent will likely emerge from this tournament.
—May 22 - First-round playoffs begin.
—June 7 - Conference semifinals begin.
—June 21 - 27 - Draft Combine scheduled. Again no location set.
—June 22 - NBA Draft Lottery 8:30 pm.
—June 22 - Conference Finals begin.
—June 22 - Publication date for Matt Sullivan’s book, “Can’t Knock the Hustle: Inside the Season of Protest, Pandemic, and Progress with the Brooklyn Nets’ Superstars of Tomorrow.” Expect excerpts, expect news.
—July 8-22 - NBA Finals with latest date for conclusion July 22.
—July 23-August 8 - Tokyo Olympics open. Nets have SEVEN players in the Team USA pool including the Big Three, the two buyouts, Joe Harris and DeAndre Jordan. Spencer Dinwiddie has committed to Team Nigeria. But they and other NBA players may be otherwise occupied.
—July 29 - NBA Draft, 8 p.m. Nets currently hold the 27th, 41st, 46th and 58th picks. Will it return to Barclays Center, its home from 2013 through 2019 or continue to be virtual as it was in 2020?
—July 31 - Deadline for Dinwiddie player option, Qualifying offer deadlines for Reggie Perry and Bruce Brown Jr.
-—August 4 - End of 2020-21 season, beginning of 2021-22
—August 6 - NBA free agency. Lots of decisions. Bruce Brown, Jeff Green, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Tyler Johnson, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge will al1 be free agents. The Nets and Nic Claxton can also open negotiations on an extension beyond the end of his three-year rookie deal that ends in 2021-22. The most the Nets can offer in an extension is four years, and about $50 million. Expect Team Claxton to wait till the end of 2021-22 when he’ll be a restricted free agent.