Brooklyn Nets Free Agency, Like Rebuild, Hinges On Patience

Free agency has been in full swing, but seemingly, not for the Brooklyn Nets. At least, it appears that way on the surface.

Tuesday marks America’s national holiday that’s highlighted by celebration, fireworks and the sweet smell of barbecued meat. In NBA terms, it’s also been three days since the clock started ticking on free agency. But, while the league is abuzz with storylines such as the diminishing competitiveness of the Eastern Conference, the Nets have failed to strike a deal with a single player. The silence surrounding the Nets could be deciphered in both positive and negative ways, and with the Spurs-like foothold instilled in Brooklyn’s front office, it’s unclear which it’s leaning more toward. Still, maybe you’ll feel better after I try to dissect and make an educated guess about what’s running through Nets General Manager Sean Marks’ mind.

With so many relevant names dissipating from the market after three days, it’s easy for fans to lose patience and hope that the team will be able to churn out a squad that could drastically improve from the prior 20-win season. Especially when so little has been said about Brooklyn’s free agency plans, and the fact that the team has already lost out on numerous players linked to it in rumors.

The Tale of J.J. Redick, Andre Iguodala and Joe Ingles

On day one, the Nets failed to land veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick, who settled for a different Atlantic Division club and put his faith into “the process.” Joe Ingles also emerged as a target for the Nets on day one, but ultimately, Utah decided it could not afford to lose its complementary wing.

On day two, Andre Iguodala, another veteran the Nets were actively pursuing, chose to remain with the defending-champion Golden State Warriors, despite reports suggesting he might do otherwise.

What’s most compelling about the aforementioned players, however, is not the fact that they’re players who did not sign with Brooklyn. It’s the fact that they were the first ones mentioned in conjunction with the Nets, closest to the start of free agency.

Redick and Iguodala had reportedly been on the Nets’ radar last week, though it was not made clear until after free agency started that unrestricted free agents would be the first priority for Brooklyn, in order to not tie up cap space. As for Ingles, Josh Rudy called it on the Brooklyn Revolution Podcast, but his name did not materialize in connection to the Nets until hours before he inked his four-year extension with the Jazz.

Possible Brooklyn Nets Free Agency Strategy

It was a well-known fact that heading into free agency, Brooklyn would be heavily seeking the services of restricted free agents — specifically, Otto Porter and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Caldwell-Pope has garnered less attention around the NBA since the start of July, while Porter’s name has floated around numerous teams, and the Wizards’ small forward has already received a max offer sheet from the Sacramento Kings.

According to a report from ESPN’s Chris Haynes on Sunday, Porter planned to meet with two more teams before deciding on which offer sheet to sign. One of those teams was likely the Brooklyn Nets, as tucked into an article by CBS Sports’ Matt Moore, the Nets were scheduled to meet with Porter on Monday. Jeremy Lin was also spotted on Tuesday with a fan in Washington, D.C. (where Porter is taking interviews), so he may be assisting the Nets in the Porter sweepstakes. Meanwhile, the one team that holds the power in Porter’s future — the Washington Wizards — have been largely quiet, even after a report from The Undefeated on the eve of free agency stated Washington will “make an aggressive offer at 12:01 am… to ensure they keep Otto Porter.” Bluff much?