Interim coach P.J. Carlesimo has directed the Brooklyn Nets to a 28-17 record since replacing Avery Johnson in late December. But the Nets haven’t endorsed Carlesimo for the full-time gig. Photo Credit: Mark Runyan, Basketball Schedule
Following the 2012-13 season, the Brooklyn Nets have some work to do in order to bolster their roster and avoid an enormous cap hit.
According to Hoops Hype, Brooklyn will own the largest payroll of any NBA team in 2013-14, paying more than $89 million, with a bulk of it going to Deron Williams ($18,466,130), Joe Johnson ($21,466,718) and Brook Lopez ($14,694,000).
One player that the Nets absolutely need to address is Kris Humphries.
Humphries is no longer a big factor in Brooklyn’s plan, as he has found himself on the outside of the rotation for most of the season under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. The 6’9” power forward is getting just 18 minutes per game this season, compared to the 35 minutes a game he was seeing last season.
Kris Humphries has fallen out of the rotation for the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Braxton/Flickr.com)
Humphries is owed $12 million next season and if he’s not going to receive a significant amount of time in the Nets’ rotation, Brooklyn needs to deal him. Even if they don’t receive much in return, dumping Humphries’ salary would largely benefit the Nets, as Larry Coon details the penalty for a team over the cap by $12 million:
"A team with a team salary $12 million over the tax level in 2013-14 pays a tax of $21.25 million (the incremental maximum of $7.5 million for $0 to $4,999,999, plus the incremental maximum of $8.75 million for $5 million to $9,999,999, plus $2 million times the incremental rate of $2.50 for $10 million to $14,999,999)."
After addressing the Humphries situation, the Nets have three unrestricted free agents they’ll need to sign or let walk in free agency (h/t ESPN): Andray Blatche, Keith Bogans and Jerry Stackhouse. Stackhouse’s deal expires after the 2013 season, but he’s already announced that he’ll likely retire after an 18-year career to join the NBA union, according to Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports.
As for Blatche and Bogans, if I’m Brooklyn, I’m letting Bogans go and re-signing Blatche. Blatche has seen a resurgence after making the switch from the Washington Wizards to Brooklyn, shooting a career-high .513 from the field and averaging 10.2 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. Spelling Lopez, Blatche has been instrumental to the Nets on both offense and defense, leading to Brooklyn’s allowing of just 95 points per game, which ranks fifth in the league.
Andray Blatche is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the Brooklyn Nets should strongly consider bringing him back. Photo Credit: Mark Runyan, Basketball Schedule
I think most Brooklyn fans would love to see Gerald Wallace either restructure his deal or the Nets move him for a cheaper, more effective small forward, but I don’t see that happening. Wallace is due $10 million each of the next three seasons, making that deal one of the worst the Nets have ever signed.
One thing that I can’t stress enough is that the Nets should not, I repeat, should not go after Dwight Howard in free agency. If he’s not completely content in the offense or with the way the season is going, Howard is cancer in the locker room. Given his injury woes this season, it’s not worth Brooklyn trying to go after him, especially with the amount of money that he’s going to want.
Lastly, the Nets must decide if they’re going to stick with Carlesimo at the helm.
Brooklyn turned its season around after firing Avery Johnson, but according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Nets’ CEO Brett Yormark passed on an opportunity to endorse Carlesimo as the head coach in 2013-14. Rumors of Jeff Van Gundy and Phil Jackson have floated around as potential candidates to head the Nets next season, so a coaching change will definitely be something to keep an eye on this summer.
Prepare yourselves for what could be an active summer, Nets fans.
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