Around The Nets: 12:01AM, Jay-Z’s plea, Vasily Karasev, and more!

Jay-Z Beyonce Brooklyn Nets Game
Catchin’ some hoops.
Jay-Z Beyonce Brooklyn Nets Game
Catchin’ some hoops.

For those unfamiliar, Around the ‘Nets is a quick-fire round-up of all your relevant news out of Brooklyn, however, last night marked a special occasion: free agency. As soon as the clock struck midnight, rookie general manager Sean Marks could officially start chatting with players. Although the Nets have made no real moves yet, plenty of interesting tidbits have come down over the past eight hours.

Instead of writing five different articles that will ultimately have no bearing on your day, we’re giving it to you in a digested form — that way, you’ll be the most knowledge cat at the water cooler this Friday morning. Here we go!

According to European writer David Pick, Sergey Karasev is off to Russia to play basketball under his father. Last we heard on the younger Karasev, he would not be re-signing with the Nets this off-season, but was confident he’d stay in the NBA. Of course, this news is a bit ironic given Vasily’s criticism of former head coach Lionel Hollins last season. From our post in November:

“But the coach seems to be thinking something different: he said that he does not see Sergey as part of the team. Based on what I’ve seen personally – the team is in total disarray. If I went there myself – even that would be better. The team has no game.”

Well, you got what you wanted, dad — now it’s time to help revive your son’s career! This means that Karasev spent just two seasons with Brooklyn, averaging just 2.4 points over 40 games in 2015-2016.

Speaking of happenings across the ocean, Pick also suggests that Sergio Rodriguez has decided against returning to the NBA. Rodriguez will stay with powerhouse Real Madrid instead of becoming the Nets’ backup point guard. As NetsDaily notes, Rodriguez wanted to start and with Brooklyn coveting players like Rajon Rondo and Jeremy Lin, the bearded-man has opted to stay in Spain.

Back to the drawing board.

As Zach Lowe first noted in his piece on Wednesday, the Nets are apparently interested in bringing “character” guys to the suddenly-young locker room, which includes Jared Dudley. Mark Stein of ESPN has now added to that, suggesting that the Nets, Jazz, and Suns are all interested in Dudley, but, for now, it’s just chatter. Dudley is not a super popular figure in Brooklyn for fans, after he tweeted in 2012: “I don’t wanna get in Dwight Howard’s business but lol Why would you wanna play for the Nets over teams such as the Lakers,Bulls, and Mavs.”

ESPN’s Zach Lowe noted just after midnight that teams looking to secure Kent Bazemore this summer will have to surrender as much as 20 million for him. While Bazemore was reportedly holding out on meetings until after July 5th, he took a 12:01 meeting with the Houston Rockets. Bazemore is a natural choice alongside new head coach Kenny Atkinson, but will the Nets be willing to stretch up into the 20 million range for their target?

According to Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Nets were one of six teams, along with the Sixers, Bulls, Heat, Thunder, and Kings, to chat with shooting guard Dion Waiters’ representation after midnight. Yesterday, the Oklahoma City Thunder tendered a qualifying offer to Waiters, which makes him a restricted free agent, but with the recent acquisition of Victor Oladipo, the Thunder may have a capped price ceiling on the former lottery pick.

During The Vertical’s special free agency show on Yahoo! last night, Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned that Jay-Z tried to secure a meeting for the Nets. Furthermore, Durant apparently said no, as he’s apparently leaning towards staying with Oklahoma City after their five hour meeting yesterday. The Nets were never really in for Durant, but this is an interesting throwaway nonetheless.

Of course, Jay-Z sold his minority shares in the club in 2013 so he could create his current sports agency, Roc Nation.

Don’t worry, friends — I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg on what will be a hectic holiday weekend for the Brooklyn Nets and Sean Marks — so we’ll check back in with you soon!