The NBA’s free agency moratorium period begins tomorrow; it’s a time when NBA teams can discuss contracts with players and come to handshake agreements without signing anything official. The biggest deals get agreed upon during this period: Miami’s “Big 3” decided to join forces during the moratorium period, and Deron Williams tweeted out his decision to re-sign with the Brooklyn Nets on July 3rd, 2012, more than a week before he officially signed the contract on an iPad.
So this would normally be a fun time where we look at potential free agent signings and players the Nets could target with their taxpayer mid-level exception. But before we do that, we have to acknowledge that the Nets are on fire.
Here’s the skinny right now: the Nets have reportedly been offered a 2015 second-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks as compensation for Jason Kidd breaking his contract to join the Bucks as head coach. Kidd’s all but guaranteed to leave the organization after going above Billy King’s head and trying to gain oversight of basketball operations after just one season on the bench.
The Bucks already have a coach in Larry Drew, who will leave the Bucks organization once Kidd joins the team, or simply due to the acrimony caused by this entire situation. Kidd will start as a head coach and the positions above him in the front office are safe, but considering his desire to land a front-office position, will presumably fast-track to basketball operations. This comes less than 48 hours after the NBA draft and less than a week since Nets GM Billy King said he had no expectations for any changes in the team’s coaching staff.
The Nets don’t want a second-round pick, though: they want a first-round pick, which Milwaukee is unwilling to give up. Though a first-round pick for rebuilding Milwaukee is a steep price, it’s not surprising the Nets want more: after all, they got three second-round picks for under $2 million and no players or coaches in this past NBA draft.
(Hey, remember the NBA draft? It happened about thirty years ago.)
So to recap: Kidd is going after an already-filled job he doesn’t want to eventually get a job he doesn’t have (president of basketball operations) in a city he has few ties to (Milwaukee). Meanwhile, the Nets have a head coach in name only, barely a shred of franchise stability, and four key free agents — Shaun Livingston, Paul Pierce, Andray Blatche, and Alan Anderson — with major decisions to make in less than 24 hours.