Good morning! I know you’ve been asleep for a while. A lot has happened since you fell into a coma shortly after the buzzer sounded after the Nets lost Game 5 to the Heat. Germany won the World Cup. Conflict escalated in the Middle East.
Today is Nets Media Day, marking the metaphorical ringing of the bell on Wall Street to kick off the day (season) of trading (…trading). Or, at the very least, the ringing alarm that wakes up the stockbrokers and gets them ready to perform.
While you re-calibrate your brain to adjust to the passage of time, here’s a recap of the Brooklyn Nets offseason:
- The Kidd Is Gone. According to reports, after one year of coaching in Brooklyn, Kidd went above general manager Billy King’s head to ownership in search of a presidential position for the team. He was rebuffed, and sought out a job with the Milwaukee Bucks, which the Nets were happy to let him do. Two second-round picks went to Brooklyn in the deal, and Kidd took a job held by then-Bucks coach Larry Drew. Yup, for real. Not joking. His ex-lackey Lawrence Frank is now an ex-reporter, agreeing to a buyout less than 24 hours ago to join the Los Angeles Clippers staff.
- Hello Lionel. It didn’t take long for the Nets to find Kidd’s replacement: former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, reportedly high on King’s list last year when the Nets did their search, agreed to a contract with the Nets on the same day they let Kidd go.
- Deron Williams has surgery… again. Shortly after their second-round loss to the Miami Heat, Deron Williams underwent surgery on both of his ankles, removing bone spurs from his left ankle, cleaning out his left ankle joint, and removing a loose bone fragment under his right ankle joint. He was fitted for walking boots, scooted around for a few weeks, and is now fully healthy.
- Speaking of fully healthy… Brook Lopez told a reporter in Russia in July that he’s 100% cleared for basketball-related activities. Lopez fractured a bone in his foot in December and was ruled out for the season. He’s playing five-on-five like a normal NBA player again.
- Not just the Kidd: the kids are gone too. The Nets cut their exclusive ties with the D-League and made cuts to their D-League basketball operations department, as their partnership with the Springfield Armor ran out. The team was bought by a group to move them to Grand Rapids, and that team is now a single-affiliate with the Detroit Pistons. The Nets now have an affiliation with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, an affiliation they share with the 12 other teams that don’t have a one-to-one affiliation.
- No picks never stopped Brooklyn. The Nets entered the 2014 NBA Draft without any picks, but they didn’t leave empty-handed, buying three late selections for under $2 million to select Markel Brown (44th), Xavier Thames (59th), and Cory Jefferson (60th). Brown and Jefferson are expected to make the team, though Jefferson’s deal is non-guaranteed and he’s competing with two other big men for a spot. Thames was not signed to a contract and went overseas, where the Nets retain his rights.
- The Cavs get LeBron… and thank the Nets for it. Shortly before LeBron James famously announced his decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers after winning two championships in four seasons with the Miami Heat, the Cavaliers struck a three-team deal which sent Jarrett Jack and his $6.3 million in salary to Brooklyn, freeing up the cap space for Cleveland to sign James to a maximum deal. The Nets also got 2013 first-round pick Sergey Karasev in the deal, sending Marcus Thornton to the Boston Celtics.
- The Truth Set Free. The Nets ultimately decided to let Paul Pierce, who they acquired in a blockbuster deal that cost them three first-round draft picks, walk without making a firm offer, and Pierce signed a two-year contract with the Washington Wizards. The Nets held Pierce’s full Bird rights, meaning they could have re-signed him at any cost, but decided to eschew Pierce and go younger & cheaper.
- Plumlee For America: Mason Plumlee shockingly rose up the USA ranks, starting as a member of the USA Select Team and working his way into a roster spot on the official Team USA Basketball roster. Plumlee is a Duke alumnus, and the team was coached by Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. USA won the Gold in FIBA World Cup play easily.
- Livingsgone. Unlike with Pierce, the Nets didn’t have much of a choice — or a chance — with Shaun Livingston. The Nets could only offer Livingston a three-year deal for about $10 million, and that wasn’t enough for Livingston, who had a breakout year in Brooklyn and earned a three-year contract worth $16 million from the Golden State Warriors.
- Better late than Bogdanever. Three years after drafting him in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, the Nets finally signed their draft-and-stash Euro Bojan Bogdanovic to a three-year contract. He is not to be confused with Bogdan Bogdanovic, who the Suns selected with the 26th pick in the draft, followed by a televised montage of Bojan Bogdanovic highlights. I admit it’s confusing.
- Brought back: The Nets re-signed free agent Alan Anderson to a two-year deal worth under $3 million, and Andrei Kirilenko accepted his player option, keeping him with the team for one more season.
- Night falls on Dray Day: But they waved goodbye to Andray Blatche, who got zero NBA offers despite leading all bench players in points per minute over the past two seasons, and he signed a five-month deal in China to play for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers. The Nets-Blatche negotiations were dead on arrival, as the Nets tired of Blatche’s conditioning and off-court issues.
Mikhail Prokhorov entered ShalomLife’s Hall of Fame. Yes, Mikhail Prokhorov is Jewish.