Paul Malignaggi, Daniel Jacobs, Brett Yormark

Brett Yormark (center). (AP)

In 2010, the then-New Jersey Nets tried to sell LeBron James on a global Nets franchise. With or without LeBron, the global vision appears to be more than a selling point for free agents.

Nets CEO and marketer extraordinaire Brett Yormark recently completed his sixth visit to China, this time to market a pair of October exhibition games with the Sacramento Kings. China Daily sat down with Yormark to chronicle the trip. Some highlights below:
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So who is Bojan Bogdanovic?

Posted on: July 24th, 2014 by Alex Mazer Comments

 

Kevin Durant, Gasper Vidmar, Bojan Bogdanovic

It was a long time before Bojan Bogdanovic (right) met Kevin Durant. (AP)

There’s more to Bojan Bogdanovic than the number 44 on his back.
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Summer League is over, Free Agency is nearly wrapped up, and it is time to focus on what matters most: Mascots. We want you to get involved! Tweet out your suggestions for who the next Nets Mascot should be with the #MyBrooklynMascot.

Rundown:
Start: Goodbye Paul. Hello Bojan!
18:45: Did Paul Pierce and Deron Williams have a frosty relationship?
26:00: News Around the League: Knicks Orange Jerseys, Love Trade, Embiid's Twitter Revolution, and China.
42:40: Killer Komparison: A deep dive into the next Nets Mascot. #MyBrooklynMascot

 

Tayshaun Prince, Mike Conley, Lionel Hollins

How will the Nets run under Lionel Hollins? (AP)

The knives are out of the backs, new leadership is installed, and Paul Pierce has joined Barack Obama and John Wall. Brooklyn Nets fans are left with a dapper new coach, some fresh (and even young!) faces and a whole lot of question marks about how their team plans to play next season.

It starts up top. Coach Lionel Hollins last coached the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012-2013, to 56 wins and a Conference Finals loss to the Spurs (duh) in the ultra-competitive West.

By examining Hollins’ use of personnel in his last season with Memphis, we can unearth some clues on what next season’s Brooklyn Nets will look like on the offensive and defensive end.
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Markel Brown

Markel Brown (AP)


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The above is five minutes of highlights, average-lights, and general on-court awareness from new Brooklyn Nets forward Bojan Bogdanovic against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who the Nets selected with the first pick of the second round in the 2010 NBA draft. This isn't an NBA game -- it was a part of the NBA's Global Games initiative in the 2013-14 preseason -- but it was nonetheless a chance for Bogdanovic to showcase his NBA-level skills against real competition.

There's a lot of good to see in here. Bogdanovic scores in a few different ways, throws a beautiful one-handed, 70-foot pass that hits the target perfectly, backs down Jeremy Lamb and hits a nice floater (negated by an early whistle), and generally looks like he belongs amongst the trees. There's a couple of moments where he passes up hitting an open teammate, but in an exhibition where he's the best player on the floor against an NBA team, you can't really blame him for going for his own shot.

Besides, Bogdanovic's bullheadedness led to the inarguable highlight of the video, when he pulls up off the dribble and nails a three right in Kevin Durant's face. The full play begins around 2:50.

Though the Thunder won 95-82, Bogdanovic led all scorers not named Durant with 19 points on 4-10 shooting. All of his baskets came from behind the arc (4-8 from deep), he hit seven of eight free throws (he shot 81% from the line in all Euroleague phases last season), and he added four rebounds to only one turnover.

 

The Brooklyn Nets have officially signed Bojan Bogdanovic to a three-year contract using their taxpayer mid-level exception, the team announced today.

The team originally drafted Bogdanovic 31st overall (the top pick in the second round) in the 2011 NBA draft, acquiring him in a draft-day trade. He's played overseas ever since, even after it appeared imminent that the team would sign him last offseason before they signed Andrei Kirilenko to a two-year contract.

“Having drafted Bojan in 2011, it is rewarding to finally welcome him to the Nets,” Nets general manager Billy King said in a prepared statement. “We obviously have a high regard for his game, and we are glad he will now bring that talent to Brooklyn.”

King said earlier this month that he'd discussed how Bogdanovic would be best utilized with Lionel Hollins during the team's interview process with their new head coach.

Bogdanovic's contract will cost the Nets about $10.1 million over three years. Given their current roster construction, his contract will cost roughly $10 million additional this season in luxury tax payments.

 

Michael Jenkins, Ron Anderson

Michael Jenkins with the Nets in Orlando Summer League. (AP)

The Brooklyn Nets have added 6'3" guard Michael Jenkins and summer league invitee to their preseason training camp, Jenkins's agent Daniel Moldovan announced via Twitter. But it may not be that simple:
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Mikhail Prokhorov

Mikhail Prokhorov (AP)

Are the Nets primed to play their preseason games in Russia? It looks that way. Sergei Kushchenko, who is on the team's board of directors, told a Russian news agency that the NBA could set up exhibition games in Russia, particularly with "those Brooklyn Nets":
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Thunder Nets Basketball

60th overall pick and Nets draftee Cory Jefferson. (AP)

Since 1976, the last pick in the NFL draft has been referred to -- with tongue firmly planted in cheek -- as  "Mr. Irrelevant." The dubious honor even comes with some hardware, "The Lowsman Trophy," a play on the Heisman with the player fumbling a football.

The NBA's version of Mr. Irrelevant has changed quite a bit over the years. The most recent king of irrelevancy is Brooklyn draft property, as the Nets selected Cory Jefferson with the 60th and final selection in the 2014 draft with a pick that they bought from the San Antonio Spurs. The 6'9" Baylor product has a legitimate chance to make the Nets roster, and if he does he would be the third Mr. Irrelevant in four years to make the NBA following Isaiah Thomas (2011, Kings) and Robert Sacre (2012, Lakers).

It hasn't always been number 60. From 1948 to 1986, the draft did not have a limited number of rounds, with teams picking until they did not want to pick any longer. This system produced Mr. Irrelevants like Willie Horton -- no, not THAT Willie Horton -- in the 21st round of the 1968 draft, and Steve Martin -- not that Steve Martin either -- with the 202nd overall pick in the 1979 draft. Like virtually all Mr. Irrelevants of this era, neither ever played in the NBA.

The NBA drafts of yesteryear were so long that Carl Lewis -- actually, yes, THAT Carl Lewis -- was drafted 208th overall by the Chicago Bulls in 1984, despite never playing high school or college basketball. But even with basketball absent on his CV, the ten-time Olympic medalist in track and field wasn't Mr. Irrelevant, as 20 players were taken after.

The probability of a Mr. Irrelevant making an NBA roster increased exponentially as the NBA draft was curtailed to seven rounds in 1987, then three rounds in 1988, and finally the current two-round system in 1989. While more Mr. Irrelevants have made NBA rosters since the late 1980s, their relevancy has not increased all that greatly, with only one player averaging over 7 points per game in an NBA uniform.

In honor of Mr. Jefferson, let's look at the non-illustrious history of the top three "Mr.Irrelevants" in NBA history.

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