The clock struck July 1st at midnight, making this that magical time of year when professional basketball teams perform overzealous business transactions. The Brooklyn Nets have been lavish players in free agency the last few seasons, with boatloads of cash to spend and deals to make:
- In 2010, with the cash to sign two (or three!) of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, David Lee, Carlos Boozer, Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, et al., the Nets ended up with… Travis Outlaw, Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, and Johan Petro. The team elected to use its one-time amnesty clause on Outlaw, Farmar left overseas after one season, the Nets traded Morrow after two seasons, and Petro, who was traded with Morrow, was the grandest masterpiece of basketball incompetence these NBA hardwoods may have ever seen. (He, of course, scored the final points in New Jersey Nets history.)
- In the confusing lockout “offseason” of 2011 that went by in the blink of an eye, the Nets were quiet on the free agency front, making minor moves (re-signing Kris Humphries, trading for Mehmet Okur, adding Shawne and Shelden Williams) as they geared and geared and geared to acquire Dwight Howard. He is still somehow not acquired. (No, don’t get any ideas.)
- In the 2012 offseason, the Nets made their Brooklyn moneysplash: re-signing Gerald Wallace to a four-year deal worth $40 million, trading for Joe Johnson and the remaining $89 million on his contract, signing Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, and Kris Humphries for a combined $184 million, and filling out their bench with smaller, mostly minimum, contracts.
Now it’s 2013, and the Nets have already made their biggest move of the offseason —
drafting Mason Plumlee trading for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. There are more moves to come. The Nets can use their mini mid-level exception, sign their few remaining free agents to slightly more money, and fill out their bench with minimum contracts. As always, there are already rumors out there: even though the Nets won’t be major players in this free agency market, this is the time when they fill around their now somehow even more rock-solid core.
Here we go!