The Nets have $34 million in salary commitments for next season which includes the final $4 million year on Anthony Morrow and the final $4.25 million Player Option owed to Jordan Farmar.
Both players at one point have been offered to Memphis in exchange for OJ Mayo’s ending contract, and league sources say there is a desire on New Jersey’s part to cash those guys in for ending deals before the trade deadline.
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The Nets, as they stand now, enter the offseason with $24 million in cap space. If the Nets do end up dealing both Morrow and Farmar for expiring contracts, that bumps the $24 million figure up to $32 million; the Nets could then stretch-exception another player (Johan Petro the most likely casualty) to give them almost enough room for two maximum contracts in addition to Deron Williams. There aren’t any maximum contract-worthy free agents hitting the market other than Dwight Howard, but the extra $10 million potentially freed up adds flexibility for their next moves, and the 2012 free agent class is full of rotation-quality players.
While it’s hardly a smart deal value-wise and wouldn’t help their cap situation, the Nets could also explore trading Morrow and Farmar for swing man, rap artist, and Dwight Howard compatriot Stephen Jackson. Of course, if Mehmet Okur’s back problems end his season, the Nets could also dangle his insured contract in a one-for-one deal for S-Jax.
Morrow and Farmar are both talented, specialized role players: Farmar is a talented creator and shooter, and Morrow is one of the best three-point shooters of this generation. However, neither is a particularly special defensive player and neither fills the need the Nets currently have at small forward, and when the Nets yearn for yet another run at relevance, every avenue gets explored.