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With all of the starting caliber power forwards free agents pretty much locked up, the only way the Nets can get a guy to play in front of Derrick Favors for a few years so he can develop is through a trade.  As Mark told us over the weekend, Terrence Williams might be the guy who gets sacrificed to make this happen.

People who read this site on a daily basis know how much I like Terrence Williams, but I do think if a deal gets made he is the one most likely to be dealt.  In my opinion, Terrence Williams is valued higher by other teams than by the Nets.  This is because Avery Johnson loves guys who can play both ends of the court, and right now Terrence Williams is weak on the defensive end.  So who can the Nets bring in by dealing Terrence Williams?  Well, I decided to use Trade Machine to take a look:

Terrence Williams for Carl Landry

Carl Landry is the exact type of Power Forward the Nets are looking for.  He is only under contract for another two years, and he is a guy who wants to bang on the inside...the Nets need that.  As for the Kings, they don't have a standout Shooting Guard on their roster, and T-Will can be that.

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So the Farmar deal has been confirmed by just about everybody, so I will talk about it a little more in depth than I did last night.  At just 23, Jordan Farmar already has four years of NBA experience, and that experience has been with a championship team in the Lakers.  In LA, Farmar was more of a shoot first style point guard, but I am interested/excited in seeing him running a team outside the triangle offense.

As I said yesterday, this is just another move in a series of move in where the Nets are adding capable athletes who can impact the game on the defensive end just as much as the offensive end (Morrow is the exception...he's a shooter and that is all he can do right now).  Farmar isn't a lock down defender by any means, but he is quick and athletic, and with Avery Johnson coaching, that should be enough to make him a good defender.

So with the Farmar signing at $12 million for three years, the Nets have around $15.5 million in cap space:

(It should be noted that NetsDaily has them at 14.5 million left.  The actual number is probably somewhere in between)

So after the Farmar signing the Nets have right around $15.5 million left in cap space.  The Nets have now done a pretty good job of filling all of their holes except for the one that was the most glaring, a starting-caliber power forward.  With Dallas offering Haslam a ton of money (more than the Nets probably were looking to offer), the only option that seems to be left is trying to pry away Luis Scola from the Houston Rockets.  However the fact that it might take the rest of their cap space to actually get it done, means that it probably won't happen (remember, the Nets are hoping to keep around $5 to $10 million for in season/next summer acquisitions).  So what does that leave us?  The option of the trade.

Now there are two directions the Nets might be going in based on their roster moves.  The first would involve trading Devin and maybe some picks to a team needing a point guard for a power forward.  I personally think this is the least likely of the two options, but Jordan Farmar's reason for leaving the Lakers is because he wants to be the starter somewhere.  Obviously he isn't going to beat out Devin, but if Devin is traded, Farmar is the starter and the Nets can use Terrence Williams to back him up.  It's plausible.

The second direction can go in (and the one that I think will end up happening...just a gut feeling) is that the Nets will trade a combination of one or two of their wings, some picks, and maybe even some cash for a starting Power Forward.  The Nets have six wings on their rosters, and out of all of them, only two of them are eligible to be traded (you must wait a certain amount of time before trading recent signings and players who came over in trades) and those two are Terrence Williams and Courtney Lee.  Williams is probably the one that is more likely to be traded, just because he has more value and can be traded just on his own (with some picks) for a power forward.  Courtney Lee has lost his value and the Nets would probably have to include some things to get a power forward with him in the deal.

So moving forward the Nets will probably be exploring the trade market rather than the free agent market when looking for their power forward.  It's going to be interesting to see what happens.

 

Adrian Wojnarowski brings the news again, this time from his twitter feed:

New Jersey has finalized a three-year, $12 million agreement with Lakers free agent guard Jordan Farmar, a league source tells Y!

I am putting together my thoughts on this for a post tomorrow, but the initial reaction is that I like it.  I liked Felton more, but it was obvious that he wanted to start (and he wanted starter money).  The Farmar deal is reasonable to me, and his athletic ability fits into how the Nets are currently building their roster (defend and get in transition).  With Farmar being coached by Avery Johnson, he could be a solid defender.  This is an open thread to get you until tomorrow morning...feel free to discuss this move and other rumored moves.

 

The Nets have made three signings (two signings and one offer sheet to be exact, but we will count all three as if they sign with the Nets for purpose of this discussion) over the past week.  This obviously means that the amount of money the Nets have in terms of cap space has decreased.  I think now is a good time to look at where we stand, so we can see what moves are available moving forward:

Numbers from the great site ShamSports.com

* - The $500,000 attributed to Keyon Dooling is the guaranteed portion of his contract.  $500,000 of his 2010 salary was guaranteed, so if he was cut (which is what happened) he gets paid that amount and it goes against the Nets cap.

** - The rookies aren't signed yet, this is just 100% of the cap hold attributed to their draft slot.

*** - Unlike the Outlaw deal (which has been announced at a $7,000,000 flat per year basis) the per year figures for these two deals hasn't come out yet.  Just divided the total amount by the total years to get a close enough estimate.

Alright, so as everything stands right now, the Nets are currently sitting with right around $19,500,000 in salary they can offer for this upcoming season.  What we heard from Chad Ford is that they don't plan on spending all of it:

The Nets plan to use about $20 million of their $30 million in cap space this summer. The plan is to hang on to the other $10 million to use as an asset for in-season trades (they way the Thunder have masterfully done the past two years) and, if nothing materializes, roll the cap space over to the 2011 season.

If this report is true, the Nets plan on spending about another $10 million while holding onto the rest.  This could change though, especially if the Nets want to make an offer on a guy like Luis Scola.  The only way the Nets can get him is if they make an offer of something like $13 or $14 million a year (and even then, it isn't a guarantee that the Rockets don't match).  That deal would also still leave them with around $5 million for in season moves, and give them some cap room to carry over into next year.  I think this will be the move we hear about next.

 

According to Adrian Wojnarowski (who by the way is a must follow during the offseason) the Nets have come to an agreement with big man Johan Petro:

Center Johan Petro has reached agreement on a three year, $10 million deal with New Jersey, league sources tell Y!.

Ugh.  This is the first head-scratcher in my opinion.  Petro is obviously coming in to be Brook's backup (and he is a good backup at that), but at $3.3 million per year (also 3 years?!?!)?  Even in an offseason where everyone is getting overpaid, that is way too much.  The Nets also know have four post players in Brook, Petro, Favors, and Hump.  Hopefully this isn't what we are entering the season with because as of right now we don't have a starting quality PF.

With that being said, this isn't reason to go crazy and panic.  Overpaying for a guy like Petro sucks, no question, but it isn't like the Nets spent their final $3.3 million on him.  Yes, I realize I am rationalizing right now...

 

After signing Travis Outlaw, the Nets aren't done collecting wing players.  They have now turned their attention to Warriors' restricted free agent Anthony Morrow.  Morrow and the Nets agreed to a deal that would play the undrafted wing player $12 million over the course of three years, according to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski.

This is a real good deal for the Nets because it is a reasonable amount of money for a sharpshooting wing.  However, it is so reasonable that I think the Warriors have a good chance of matching it.  Wojnarowski says that's not the case:

The Golden State Warriors aren’t expected to match the offer, a league source said. They have seven days to make a decision after Morrow officially signs the sheet.

...

With the franchise in financial flux because of an impending sale and having just committed $80 million to forward David Lee(notes), the Warriors aren’t expected to spend to keep Morrow.

I will eagerly be counting down the days.  I personally think that the Warriors "shrugging off" of Marrow could be a smokescreen.  This is because if teams know a restricted free agent will have his offer matched, they will just jack up the offers forcing teams to pay big if they want to keep their guy.  The Nets could have signed Morrow to a good deal thinking that the Warriors won't match, just to have the Warriors turn around and match it (This is kind of what happened with Marcin Gortat last year).

As what this signing would mean for the Nets, I don't want to get too much into it in case the Warriors do match, but this works.  Morrow is a sharpshooter that will spread the court and keep teams honest (no more zone with Morrow on the court).  Also, this signing tells me one of two things.  Either that the Nets are comfortable enough using Terrence Williams as a backup point guard with Outlaw and Morrow on the wings, or the Nets are loading up on wings because they are looking to deal one or two of them.  In my opinion (just my opinion, I have no sources) the latter is more than likely the case.  The Nets now will have Terrence Williams, Damion James, Travis Outlaw, Anthony Morrow, and Courtney Lee on their roster as wing players.  All five of these guys seem like they can come in and contribute right away, but there doesn't seem to be enough time for all of them.  All five of these guys have pretty good contracts (with 3 of the 5 still on their rookie deal), so that is a lot of attractive assets the Nets could include in a trade.

However, we might be getting ahead of ourselves.  Hopefully we can revisit this in seven days...

 

The Nets got smoked in a game against the Jazz yesterday, and it was a pretty unexciting blowout.  Damion James hurt his wrist/hand/thumb, so we might not see him suit up in the final game, but here is a quick recap of the events that took place.

Terrence Williams

It was a sloppy game with nobody really wanting to step up offensively for the Nets, and this lead to Terrence Williams getting shot happy.  He took 20 attempts, but hit 10 of them going for 23 points.  One of his makes was another monster dunk:

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Yeah, we all know what this is about.  LeBron makes his choice in 30 minutes or so, you can talk about it here if you want to.  Please remember the commenter constitution though, thanks guys.

 

After it broke that the Nets' signed Travis Outlaw to a 5 year 35 million dollar contract (it is now reported to be 5 years at 7 million flat), I sent an e-mail to Ben Golliver from the great Blazers' blog, BlazersEdge asking him about Outlaw.  This was his response:

Travis Outlaw: great personality, ok player.  Outlaw was one of the most popular (and polarizing) Trail Blazers during his time in Portland, owing to his Mississippi drawl, shy but hilarious personality and maddening game.  A prototypical stretch 4, he lacks a position but poses mismatch problems thanks to his height and ability to elevate.

Outlaw's best skill is his ability to put the ball in the basket.  His offensive game is predicated on relatively simple skills.  He's not a great ballhandler but he can use a dribble or two to get his own shot from almost anywhere on the court.  He's not the most natural pure shooter and he's prone to off-balance fall-aways and leaners, but he converts at a solid clip.  He's not a traditional three point sniper but he can knock down the standstill corner three and stretch the floor a little bit.

He's not much of a passer or playmaker and his court vision and understanding of spacing and timing isn't great.  He tends to look for his own shot most of the time the ball in his hands, which is ideal if he's coming off the bench in a scorer's role.  He plays hard but he's not always focused and he's never shown a commitment to or affinity for diligently rebounding the basketball on either end.  He's not a guy who will use his length to get a lot of second chance points.  That frustrated a lot of Blazers fans.

His defense improved dramatically over the course of his time in Portland but it's not anything to write home about.  His footwork isn't great and he gets lost in team schemes sometimes.  He suffers from classic tweener syndrome -- too skinny to guard true 4s, not quite quick enough to stay with pure 3s. He's best as a one-on-one perimeter defender where he can use his athleticism and length to force tough shots.  He showed some flashes as a help defender too, using his long arms to block shots from behind.

Although the Blazers hardly ever get out in transition, Outlaw's leaping ability makes him a good finisher on fast breaks.  He's more than capable of some highlight reel above-the-rim action.

Nate McMillan has mentioned a number of times since Outlaw was traded for Marcus Camby that he misses Outlaw's shooting/scoring ability as a way to balance the floor and keep defenders honest.  Outlaw fit that role next to Brandon Roy late in games very well, as he showed the ability to hit some big shots down the stretch and developed a fearlessness under pressure. He's not really suited to be the main option in those situations as his handle isn't good enough to run pick and rolls and his decision-making isn't consistent enough to handle double-teams.  He's much, much better as a safety valve, and he's able to deliver in that role.

Given his limitations as a player, I think the Nets overpaid, but who hasn't in this market?  Somebody was going to overpay for him because he has proven he can score.  Although he's still fairly young, I'm not sure you'll see a ton of development over the next five years, but he's a solid player now and should continue to be.  He was known as Roy's best friend on the team and a cut-up in the locker room. Like most Blazers, he's a high character guy who you don't need to worry about off the court.  He's definitely somebody fans can get excited about.
The point made by Ben about him being overpaid is an important one.  In a market where all these teams have 20+ million in cap space, somebody was going to overpay for a guy like Travis Outlaw.  My guess is that the Nets were bidding against someone for his services, and you know what?  I am happy the Nets won out.

Travis Outlaw: great personality, ok player.  Outlaw was one of the most popular (and polarizing) Trail Blazers during his time in Portland, owing to his Mississippi drawl, shy but hilarious personality and maddening game.  A prototypical stretch 4, he lacks a position but poses mismatch problems thanks to his height and ability to elevate.

Outlaw's best skill is his ability to put the ball in the basket.  His offensive game is predicated on relatively simple skills.  He's not a great ballhandler but he can use a dribble or two to get his own shot from almost anywhere on the court.  He's not the most natural pure shooter and he's prone to off-balance fall-aways and leaners, but he converts at a solid clip.  He's not a traditional three point sniper but he can knock down the standstill corner three and stretch the floor a little bit.

He's not much of a passer or playmaker and his court vision and understanding of spacing and timing isn't great.  He tends to look for his own shot most of the time the ball in his hands, which is ideal if he's coming off the bench in a scorer's role.  He plays hard but he's not always focused and he's never shown a commitment to or affinity for diligently rebounding the basketball on either end.  He's not a guy who will use his length to get a lot of second chance points.  That frustrated a lot of Blazers fans.
His defense improved dramatically over the course of his time in Portland but it's not anything to write home about.  His footwork isn't great and he gets lost in team schemes sometimes.  He suffers from classic tweener syndrome -- too skinny to guard true 4s, not quite quick enough to stay with pure 3s. He's best as a one-on-one perimeter defender where he can use his athleticism and length to force tough shots.  He showed some flashes as a help defender too, using his long arms to block shots from behind.
Although the Blazers hardly ever get out in transition, Outlaw's leaping ability makes him a good finisher on fast breaks.  He's more than capable of some highlight reel above-the-rim action.
Nate McMillan has mentioned a number of times since Outlaw was traded for Marcus Camby that he misses Outlaw's shooting/scoring ability as a way to balance the floor and keep defenders honest.  Outlaw fit that role next to Brandon Roy late in games very well, as he showed the ability to hit some big shots down the stretch and developed a fearlessness under pressure. He's not really suited to be the main option in those situations as his handle isn't good enough to run pick and rolls and his decision-making isn't consistent enough to handle double-teams.  He's much, much better as a safety valve, and he's able to deliver in that role.

Given his limitations as a player, I think the Nets overpaid, but who hasn't in this market?  Somebody was going to overpay for him because he has proven he can score.  Although he's still fairly young, I'm not sure you'll see a ton of development over the next five years, but he's a solid player now and should continue to be.

He was known as Roy's best friend on the team and a cut-up in the locker room. Like most Blazers, he's a high character guy who you don't need to worry about off the court.  He's definitely somebody fans can get excited about.

 

Ric Bucher is reporting that the Nets have come to an agreement with Travis Outlaw, giving the forward $35 million over the course of 5 year:

Forward Travis Outlaw has agreed to a five-year, $35 million deal with the Nets, his agent, Bill Duffy, told ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.

The 25-year-old Outlaw averaged 8.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 23 games for the Los Angeles Clippers after being acquired as part of a trade that sent Marcus Camby to the Portland Trail Blazers. In 11 games for Portland last season, Outlaw averaged 9.9 points and 3.5 rebounds.

Outlaw is a small forward, and with Avery Johnson saying that he wants to use T-Will at the SG spot, the team needed another SF on the roster besides Damion James.  This is a terrific signing in my opinion, Outlaw is a good shooter who will help spread the floor, and he is a guy who is willing to take (and make) big shots in the fourth quarter of games.  The reason this signing works is that Outlaw can be effective either starting or coming off the bench, depending on how well Damion James does.  Gut feeling though, Outlaw will be the Nets' starting SF on opening night.  Also, at 25 Outlaw already has 7 years of NBA experience.

I don't want to hear the "we whiffed on the big three free agents and now we are rushing to sign average players" comments.  The Nets only have 6 or 7 guys on their roster so this seems like a signing the Nets would have made even if they got a big free agent to sign with the team.  I will have a breakdown of Outlaw's game later in the week, but this is a really good signing for the Nets.  He is already an immediate upgrade over CDR.

 

Alright, here we go.  For those who want a distraction from the whole Wade/Bosh/James situation, you can watch the Nets play the Orlando Magic in a Summer League battle.  Not much to preview this one, but here is Terrence Williams' interview with the Summer League announcers from yesterday:

 

Chris Broussard is reporting that Dwyane Wade is going to be staying in Miami and Chris Bosh Will be joining him, though nobody is sure whether he will sign straight up with him or if there will be a sign and trade.  They also seem to be making a push to get LeBron James to come so they can create their superteam.  Nobody is sure what will happen in that regard:

Whether LeBron James, the kingpin of this summer's celebrated free agent class, will join them remains to be seen. James will announce his decision Thursday night at 9 ET during a one-hour special on ESPN.

Wade and Bosh are expected to announce their decision on Wednesday, according to the source.

Both players are expected to get the maximum amount allowable under the league's collective bargaining agreement, though the addition of James could change the players' salaries. Contracts cannot be officially signed until July 8.

It was not immediately clear whether Bosh will sign with Miami outright or join the Heat through a sign-and-trade deal. Bosh could earn $125 million over six years via sign-and-trade, but only $96 million over five without it.

In my opinion James won't be going to Miami (not enough basketballs to go around), but with Bosh signing to Miami that really limits what the Nets might be able to do.  I have been saying for a little while now, even if the Nets don't get anyone in free agency, they are still looking at a very good young core that can compete for a playoff spot right now (in my opinion) and they will only be getting better.  No reason to force a move like the rumored Harris for Granger deal.

Also, TNT's David Aldridge is reporting that Kevin Pritchard will be interviewing for the vacant GM job.  This is big news because it is obvious Pritchard is the best man for the job right now.  Pritchard knows how to build a team, and with the Nets right where they are, I expect Pritchard to help them get through the final stage of the rebuilding process.