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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:
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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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With BrooklyKnight Gone, The Brooklyn Game Announces A Nationwide Search for the Brooklyn Nets New Mascot!

With BrooklyKnight Gone, The Brooklyn Game Announces A Nationwide Search for the Brooklyn Nets New Mascot!

After the bold move to sack the BrooklyKnight, the Nets have the opportunity for a much-needed fresh start in the mascot department. But after the horrors of the past two seasons, the team clearly cannot be allowed to make this decision on their own. You, the fans, must weigh in.

How to enter: Send us your ideas for the next Nets mascot in the comments section, on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #MyBrooklynMascot, or by emailing us at devin(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com. Soon, we'll post all the ideas, and allow you to vote on your favorites. When you've picked your top 3, we'll decide the winner.

While we can't guarantee the Nets will use your winning entry, we can guarantee that the winner will be wildly celebrated with a post on The Brooklyn Game AND pick up a free t-shirt, courtesy of The Brooklyn Game. Don't worry, we've ensured that Paul McCartney is not eligible.


He tries so hard.

The fine print: by sending us an image or text on social media or through email, you acknowledge that you hold all relevant intellectual property rights to the idea and/or image, and give us the rights to showcase said property on The Brooklyn Game. Part-time contributors to The Brooklyn Game are free to enter. All full-time employees of The Brooklyn Game, plus legendary Beatles guitarist Paul McCartney, are ineligible. You must be 13 or older to enter.

And one more time for posterity: be gone, BrooklyKnight. (Note: not the guy who had to play him in costume. That guy seems very nice and incredibly athletic.)

Happy designing!

 

James Jones, Andrei Kirilenko

Andrei Kirilenko in the playoffs (AP)

In a Russian tabloid SovSport, Andrei Kirilenko told a reporter that the Nets intend to compete for a championship in the upcoming season, before taking some parting shots at former coach Jason Kidd.

Via NetsDaily, who provided the translation:

"We intend to seriously compete for the title," said Kirilenko at point in the interview, later adding that "everyone is waiting for a championship victory from Brooklyn.

It'll be difficult. The Nets are a year older, let Paul Pierce go for financial reasons, and the East is suddenly flush with talent. But that's the right attitude for a veteran to have.

Kirilenko also alleged Kidd wasn't ready for both a coaching job or the bright lights of being a leader in New York City:

As he has previously, Kirilenko seemed to diss Kidd, at one point suggesting he may not have wanted to deal with the pressure of coaching in New York, "So the pressure is huge. And Kidd couldn’t handle it. Or maybe didn’t want to." He called the team's second round exit a "lack of success." (Kirilenko's wife, Masha, publicly criticized Kidd for not playing the veteran in the playoffs.)

The criticism got harsher, more so than in previous interviews.

"Basically he was not able to do much of anything, if you look at the big picture – we have to admit that fact," says Kirilenko, throwing his arms open. "There were objective reasons. Our starting center, Brook Lopez, injured himself early and was out for the whole season. There were health problems with other players. But the serious goals set before the club were not cancelled. We were serious about fighting for the title."

"When Kidd became head of the team, no one really knew what to expect," he added. "Of course he had colossal experience as a player but no coaching experience. Or reputation. At the beginning it was difficult. What else could it be when you’re losing more games than you’re winning? Things were a bit easier for me as I was injured at the time and couldn’t be on the court and do anything about it, no matter how much I wanted to. So, inside, I was calm."

By saying Kidd wasn't able to do much of anything, Kirilenko echoed the criticism from an anonymous scout in November that said Kidd was a total non-factor on the bench early in the season.

This isn't Kirilenko's first lap around the Kidd criticism track. Back in January, I asked Kirilenko about Kidd's progress as a coach. He acknowledged that things were getting better, but also added that it was a confusing process. "In the beginning of the season when we started, we were kind of wondering, 'what are we doing? Why are we doing this?' A lot of talking, like people sometimes didn’t understand," Kirilenko said.

NetsDaily -- Andrei Kirilenko: "We intend to seriously compete for the title"

Related: The Ultimate Jason Kidd Timeline

 

Brooklyn Nets center Mason Plumlee will work out against the United States men's national basketball team in Las Vegas later this month, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:

Mason and older brother Miles are both products of Duke University, coached by Mike Krzyzewski, who also coaches the US men's basketball team. It pays off to succeed in a major program. (Also, to be good at basketball.) Nets team physicians Riley Williams and Mike Farber are also on the official staff.

The national team has a training camp scheduled for late July in Las Vegas, in advance of the FIBA World Cup, which takes place between August 30th and September 14th. Unfortunately, since Plumlee's not an official part of the team, he won't get another chance to play against naturalized Filipino citizen Andray Blatche, who is not Filipino, until next season.

Either way, it's an honor for Plumlee, who was selected 22nd overall by the Nets in last year's NBA draft after four years at Duke and played his way into a rotation spot with Brooklyn.

 

Good morning. Paul Pierce is no longer a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
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AP

AP

Who was the most cost-effective team in the league this season? Who was the least?

With the latest luxury tax information, we've learned that the Brooklyn Nets spent a ridiculous amount of money this season, and it added up to 44 wins and a second-round exit. But just how much were those wins -- and that payroll -- worth?

To figure that out, I put together two very simple charts. The first is "cost per win" -- which is, quite literally, how much each win cost a team in NBA salary plus luxury tax. That accounts for how much the team spent on their roster in total, not just on the players.

So how'd they do?
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LeBron James, Joe Johnson

No more LeBron in Miami. (AP)

So, the big news of the day: LeBron James is returning to Cleveland, joining the Cleveland Cavaliers on what will likely be a maximum contract. The NBA world is abuzz with the news, and dominos quickly began falling behind.

But what about the reaction from Brooklyn? Only two current Nets players reacted to the news quickly and publicly, and they're two of the newest members of the team: rookie Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson. I love the way Brown handled it, and Jefferson was funny too:
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Four-time MVP and two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat LeBron James released a letter today through Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated announcing his intention to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played the first seven years of his career.

Here's an excerpt from the letter, which you can read in full here:

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

James's return to Cleveland makes them the odds-on favorite to win the NBA Championship, according to Bovada odds. They are currently 4-1 odds, with the Spurs second at 5-1.

Though this isn't directly Nets news, it was widely believed that James's decision is what held up the rest of free agency. With the Nets hoping to have a decision on Paul Pierce's status soon, coupled with Pierce's exit from the World Series of Poker last night, the dominos may begin falling quickly today.

 

Hey you! Want to help keep The Brooklyn Game rolling? We're looking for you. The Brooklyn Game is growing, and we want you to help us grow. The short: we're looking for contributors to do a few different things.

Contributors to The Brooklyn Game have gone on to do some awesome things. For one, there's the exposure of getting your work linked on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, YES Network, and all over the internet. And there's room to grow: one of our contributors who started here is now the sports editor for a newspaper in northern New York. Another was a part of the Sacramento Kings draft project, and now working with the Kings through the offseason.

Here's a few things we're looking for:

Editorial contributor: Do you keep your friends close and Nets news closer? Do you have entirely too serious opinions about whether Andrei Kirilenko or Mirza Teletovic should get more playing time? Was buying Summer League Pass an afterthought? We're looking for self-starters who both have a passion for the Nets and the unique voice to share it. Contributors would have the chance to write short-form and long-form articles for the site with editorial guidance and approval, along with doing behind-the-scenes work to help keep the site rolling. Experience writing about sports a plus. Apply to devin(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com. Applicants should note their likely time commitment and send in a shortform and longform writing sample. Topics can be given by request. If you are in college, we're happy to work with your school to help you get college credit. We may not respond to all requests.

Social Media contributor: Are you on Twitter and Facebook 24/7? Do you have text notifications pop up to see what free agent is going where? Do you tweet entirely too much for an average healthy human about how good Bojan Bogdanovic can be? This is the one for you. Experience in social media or with social media applications like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite a plus. Apply to devin(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com. Applicants should note their likely time commitment, send us a link to their social media page, and explain in under 140 characters why they're the right fit. We may not respond to all requests.

Ad sales intern: The other two posts are paid in love and appreciation, as well as the opportunity for exposure and a chance to develop your voice in a professional setting. But want to make some money? We need folks to sell ads on the site. We prefer people who have some selling experience and live in Brooklyn. If interested, write steven(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com.

 

While the NBA world sits in a holding pattern awaiting the future of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce might as well be on another planet. Oh, sure, he's in Las Vegas, just like James was earlier this week for his camp. But he's not there for basketball, not there to talk to executives about free agency, not there to watch Summer League. He's there for an entirely different purpose. Or, at least he was.
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