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Nets re-sign Griffin, lose Jeff Green in early hours of free agency

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2021 NBA Playoffs - Milwaukee Bucks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Brooklyn’s big free agency decisions were still unresolved four hours into free agency, but there was still some news to report. The Nets lost Jeff Green to the Denver Nuggets but were able to retain Blake Griffin for another year.

Malika Andrews first reported the Green deal with Denver.

The move was not totally unexpected. The Nets could only offer him the vets minimum, $3.1 million available to Non-Bird players or the taxpayers MLE at $5.89 million, their only cap enhancer. Moreover, Green had expressed frustration at having to sign a series of one-year, vets minimum deals.

Adrian Wojnarowski broke the Griffin news...

Re-signing Griffin was an easier move. Griffin, who was signed after being bought out by the Pistons, will get $29.8 million next season from Detroit whether he signed for the vets minimum or the TMLE. Under the terms of the CBA, any money Griffin earns next season will be subtracted from Detroit’s commitment. It’s yet uncertain whether Griffin signed for the vets minimum or part of the TLME.

The Nets had expressed optimism that Griffin, who started throughout the playoffs at the 5, would return. On Monday morning, Sean Marks had offered a hint of what was going to happen later in the day.

“He was absolutely terrific and found a niche with the team. We’d love him back. That is certainly the plan,” Marks told the media via Zoom.

And early Tuesday, Kevin Durant told reporters in Tokyo that he was happy Griffin is coming back and had lobbied him.

Meanwhile, Spencer Dinwiddie’s future remains unclear. As teams signed and/or traded for other point guards like Kyle Lowry, Mike Conley, Lonzo Ball, Derrick Rose, Dinwiddie’s options seemed less and less attractive.

According to Shams Charania, the Wizards were interested and in fact Bradley Beal had offered his endorsement. Charania reported, in fact, that Dinwiddie would soon meet with the Wizards at the beginning of free agency.

Of course, the Wizards or any team over the cap would need to engage the Nets in a sign-and-trade to land Dinwiddie. The Nets reportedly had no interest in a Wizards offer that would send Kyle Kuzman and/or Montrezl Harrell, acquired last week in last week’s blockbuster Russell Westbrook trade with the Lakers.

One possibility is for the Nets to join the Wizards-Lakers trade which can’t be made official until Friday. In that scenario, the Nets would come away with a huge trade exception but limited assets. There are also persistent rumors that the Nets would like to move off DeAndre Jordan’s contract which has two years and $19.7 million left.

Similarly, there was no news about Bruce Brown who is a restricted free agent. The Nets tendered him a qualifying offer three days ago, making him a restricted free agent. Brooklyn can match any offer Brown receives from another team.

Billy Reinhardt, who writes for NetsDaily, first reported that the Nets are pursuing Spurs free agent point guard Patty Mills.

Marc Stein later confirmed Reinhardt’s report and noted that the Lakers are also interested in the 6’2 guard. Mills, who turns 33 later this month, just completed a four-year, $48 million contract with San Antonio. He averaged 10.8 points with shooting splits of 41/38/91 in 68 games, only one of them a start. Mills, who is in Tokyo with the Australian national team, has been with the Spurs for 10 years. He and Marks were part of the Spurs 2014 NBA championship team, Mills as a player, Marks as an assistant coach.

However, Jordan Schultz of ESPN poured cold water on the report, saying the Lakers and Warriors are in the lead.