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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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Jarrett Jack

Jarrett Jack (AP)

New Brooklyn Nets guard Jarrett Jack learned about the next major step in his professional basketball career in somewhat of an unconventional manner.
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Finally had a chance to see my restaurant in action!:) thanks Hooters had a great time... Наконец то удалось увидеть свой ресторан в действии, было здорово !!! Спасибо всем друзьям за компанию. @frulia12 @a0gr8 @uliana12 @frizi7 @mashalopatova @seawind777 @russianhky и всем кто был с нами ,сорри если забыл кого то:)

That's Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko, just kicking it with his newest employees in Russia.

No, really: in April, it was reported that Andrei Kirilenko would open the first Hooters restaurant ever in Russia.

Weirdly, the business is also a political statement: Russia has some "antipathy" towards US-based companies, and Kirilenko is a prominent celebrity in Russia opening a US-based franchise in his home country.

Kirilenko lives in Russia in the offseason with his wife and family.

 

Farewell, creepy thing.

Farewell, creepy thing.

Per Zach Lowe of Grantland:

A team official has confirmed the statement to The Brooklyn Game.

The ridiculousness of the mascot aside, there's a small part of me that'll miss the BrooklyKnight's competely misfired charm: the way he scared kids with his oddly sociopathic mask, the way he shot t-shirts into the American flag by accident, the way the Nets hastily threw together a comic book about him that put Amar'e Stoudemire in the Nets locker room, the way he was accidentally named after a porn star, the way he tried to pump up the crowd during time-outs usually to no avail...

There's a shred of New Jersey Nets-dom that'll be gone with his departure. Oh, well. Bring back Sly.

 

Credit: Mike King

Credit: Mike King

The Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, and Brooklyn Nets officially announced the three-team trade that sends Marcus Thornton away from the Nets for Jarrett Jack and Sergey Karasev Thursday morning.

The Nets will also send the draft rights to Eden Bavcic, Christian Drejer, and Ilkan Karaman to the Cavaliers. None of them are expected to make it to the NBA, though Karaman has the best shot. Drejer was a 2004 second-round pick that retired from basketball in 2008, and the Nets acquired Bavcic's rights from the New Orleans Pelicans in the deal that sent away Tyshawn Taylor.

Thornton goes to the Celtics, along with Tyler Zeller and a first-round pick from Cleveland. The Celtics send a conditional second-round pick back to the Cavaliers.

"Jarrett is a proven NBA veteran who will add versatility to our backcourt," Nets general manager Billy King said in a prepared statement. "The team had a need in that area and we are excited that we were able to secure Jarrett to fill that role. Sergey is a player who we have followed closely for several years. He is a versatile forward and will be a welcome addition to our roster."

Jack will fill the backup point guard hole left by Shaun Livingston, while Karasev is a 20-year-old Russian prospect the Nets hope fits in a backup swingman role.

The big winner in this trade is dreams. The Cavaliers open up enough cap space to offer four-time MVP LeBron James, an Ohio native, a maximum contract in the city he played the first seven years of his career. The Nets get a backup point guard, a decent prospect, and preserve cap room for the summer of 2016, when Kevin Durant will be a free agent. The Celtics add another first-round pick to their incredible arsenal of first-round picks, in the hopes that one of them strikes lottery gold in the next few years.

Welcome to Brooklyn, Jarrett and Sergey!

 

Longtime NBA coach Paul Westphal will join Lionel Hollins on the Brooklyn Nets bench as his most experienced assistant, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports:
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So we actually did get a close game this time: after the Nets summer squad was downed in the fourth quarter by the Oklahoma City Thunder Monday night, the Nets took the Philadelphia 76ers down to the wire before falling in the waning moments, losing 92-86.

The loss drops the Nets to the bottom of the Summer League standings -- they only earned one point in the loss for winning the second quarter, and have seven over four games. Conversely, the Sixers earned seven points in this game alone, for winning the game and three of four quarters.

There were some good things in the loss: with Mason Hakeem Shaquille Abdul-Jabbar Chamberlain Russell Plumlee sidelined with a sore foot, the Nets needed to get offense elsewhere, and spread it around. Markel Brown, Marquis Teague, and Cory Jefferson all made big contributions, as did Donte Greene from the invitees. Greene did miss some big shots down the stretch: he tied Markel Brown for the team lead with 17 points, but took ten more field goal attempts than Brown (19 to 9) to equal him in the scoring column. But the Nets couldn't handle Casper Ware and Nerlens Noel, and the Sixers hit free throws to put it away.

The Nets will play one more game Saturday morning, likely against the Houston Rockets, to compete for the prize of being the second-worst team in Orlando Summer League