The departure of Paul Pierce has marked a new era in Brooklyn basketball as the Nets have already begun to temper their record-setting spending. But where does that leave the Nets for the 2014-2015 season? Here is a handy cheat sheet from HoopsHype that lays out the current assets and obligations:
Salary Cap: Yes, we are still paying Travis Outlaw. Four. Million. Dollars.
Beyond that sad news, even with the salary cap’s 7.5% increase to 63 million, the Nets currently sit at a little over 87 million–which, unfortunately, means that the Nets are more than a little hampered moving forward with any moves. With no money to replace Pierce, the Nets may have to rely on a bevy of veteran contracts and rookies to anchor the bottom part of their roster — assuming, of course, that the Nets continue to express unwillingness to pay a hefty luxury tax.
The Nets’ masterplan leaves great roster flexibility in the summer of 2016, when perhaps Kevin Durant will be available. As of now, only Deron Williams will be under contract and Mason Plumlee and new additions Sergey Karasev and Jarrett Jack will have team options. They still plan on signing Bojan Bogdanovic to the mini-MLE that would be worth $10.3 million over three years, but it not official yet. Brooklyn still holds the team option on point guard Jorge Gutierrez and have until training camp to decide. And it looks like Kevin Garnett will likely return to Brooklyn.
So, for now, the Nets sit well over the cap with just 10 players signed. Where do they go next? All indications point towards the signing of rookie Markel Brown. Before Livingston and Pierce moved on, it seemed unlikely that Jefferson or Thames would make the roster, but they may keep Jefferson around after all.
If Bogdanovic does indeed come over for the mini MLE, they will fill the remainder of their roster with the rookies or more veterans on minimum contracts like they did last year. Donte Greene, a staple of Nets Summer League basketball, almost signed with Brooklyn a few years ago before breaking his foot and may be a cheap option to finish out the roster. One source reported that they may be interested in Francisco Garcia.
Arrivals: Jarrett Jack, Sergey Karasev, Alan Anderson
Likely Arriving: Kevin Garnett, Bojan Bogdanovic
Rookies (Yet to Sign): Markel Brown, Corey Jefferson, Xavier Thames
Potential Depth Chart: