First and foremost: apologies for the lack of updates in the last week. The Brooklyn Game has been in the midst of some off-site stuff. We’ll try to get you caught up today.
Here’s what’s happened in the last week or so around the ‘Nets:
- Nets majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who has flirted with selling bits and pieces of his stake in the team and Barclays Center over the past year, is now reversing course and looking to buy out Bruce Ratner’s minority share and become a 100 percent owner in the team, according to a report from Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher. That could indicate Prokhorov is doubling down on his Nets investment and has no interest in going anywhere… Or he’d like to clean up a potential sale by picking up the full 100 percent. Ratner owned a majority of the team from 2004-2010 until Prokhorov swooped in to facilitate the team’s move to Brooklyn.
- Also in that above report: the Nets have taken Joe Johnson off the trade market, in the hopes that he’ll help them compete for a playoff spot. With the team under the luxury tax, trading him offers less value than it did a few weeks ago. Also, that reminds us: the Nets are under the luxury tax threshold. What a world.
- Nets play-by-play TV announcer and fortune-teller Ian Eagle went on YES Network’s Chris Shearn Show, and though he could have spent 20 minutes doing a victory lap after correctly predicting the Nets would sever ties with Deron Williams, offered up another juicy nugget: the Nets may consider bringing Johnson off the bench next year, to give the team more balanced scoring throughout the game. If Bojan Bogdanovic takes a significant leap forward and Jarrett Jack improves his decision-making, it could work… but Johnson should still get the lion’s share of minutes.
- Speaking of Deron Williams, the Dallas Mavericks made the Williams signing official. They did not have a press conference to announce his return home. Williams has made no public comments since his required media time following the team’s Game 6 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs. His Twitter avatar is still a picture of him shooting in a Brooklyn Nets uniform.
- Thomas Robinson underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on the tear in his right knee which removed the torn meniscus cartilage, according to the team. Robinson himself described the tear as a “minor setback literally” on his Twitter account. He’s expected to be fully healthy before the team’s training camp in October.
- The team also made the signing of Andrea Bargnani official. Bargnani will sign a two-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, the second year a player option. One CBA quirk: teams that sign one-year veteran’s minimum deals get a significant portion of the salary paid for by the NBA, to encourage teams to sign older veterans. But since the Nets gave Bargnani a player option for a second year, the team pays the full amount. Bargnani said in a Facebook interview that he hopes to be an “important” player for the Nets in the upcoming year. We say: in bocca al lupo.
- The Nets’ Summer League championship dreams died over the weekend with a loss to the San Antonio Spurs, who will play for the Summer League championship Monday afternoon. The Nets went 0-5 in Orlando Summer League and 3-3 in Las Vegas Summer League (including playoffs). Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Markel Brown, and Ryan Boatright all had impressive Summer League performances, Boatright enough to earn a multi-year non-guaranteed contract. Reminder: don’t get worked up over good or bad Summer League performances. They are unimportant.
- Do the Nets need another point guard? Lionel Hollins thinks so. “Boatright is a candidate” for the team’s third point guard spot, he said. One name lightly floated out there as a major “get” was lightning bolt Ty Lawson, who has dealt with legal troubles in Denver. But the Nuggets agreed to ship Lawson to the Houston Rockets for a pittance. Lawson will enter a private rehabilitation facility after a recent DUI arrest, his second in six months.
- On the business side, Barclays Center has opened an office in Los Angeles, to streamline the connection between music industry professionals on the west coast and their operations in Brooklyn. If this came a year ago, maybe the Lakers would’ve gotten Deron Williams.
- Brooklyn’s new practice facility is nearing completion, and with it comes the chance of mass moving. Most of the Nets live near the team’s current facility, located in East Rutherford. But with the new digs in Industry City, we might see the first few Nets that live in Brooklyn. Thaddeus Young has gone home-shopping in the borough, and Brook Lopez said he might move to artsy DUMBO.
- Next for the Nets? For Billy King and Lionel Hollins, it’s time overseas with NBA Africa. Hollins will coach and King will serve as a general manager for Team World in the first NBA-sanctioned game in Africa, taking place on August 1 at Ellis Park Arena in Johannesburg, South Africa.
For the players, it’s offseason workouts and training camp preparation. The Nets can bring up to 20 players to training camp. Presumably everyone under contract now gets an invite. Beyond that is anyone’s guess.