Brooklyn Nets Free Agency, Like Rebuild, Hinges On Patience

Judging from the limited news surrounding the Nets, it’s clear they have been methodical (and unpredictable) in their approach to free agency. They haven’t waned under the pressure of losing top targets, at the expense of overpaying for these players. Instead, the Nets have determined to not make any moves at all, which has frustrated some fans, but epitomizes a greater strategy to wait for the market to settle. It may be difficult to remember with how many Woj bombs or Sham Wows have dropped lately, but only three days have passed into free agency.

The Market of Overvaluing Free Agents

Just take a look at some of the deals that players on the market have signed thus far. Jrue Holiday is suddenly a player deemed worthy of over $25 million/year. On the topic of two Nets’ targets: Redick went for a one-year rental deal with the Sixers, worth an outrageous $23 million; and Iguodala penned a three-year, $48 million extension with Golden State. Note: It’s worth mentioning the Nets offered Redick a deal for between $16-$18 million/year, while Iguodala did not meet with the Nets.

Brooklyn entered free agency with the third-most amount of cap space in the NBA (roughly $34 million), but either one of those deals would have eaten up a substantial sum of it. Yes, they would have come at the cost of adding productive and “culture” veterans, but nonetheless, overpaid vets. Thus, there could be more that meets the eye, going on behind the scenes with Sean Marks and the Nets.

It’s difficult to predict how free agency will play out, mainly because it hinges on so many different factors, ranging from player desires, to offers other teams could make. Many could have foreseen Iguodala re-signing with the Warriors, but few could have thought Philly would be a frontrunner for Redick.

Worst Case Scenario

Coming into July, the Nets were viewed as a team that could theoretically make a major leap next season by copping Porter and other players who could turn into foundational blocks. They certainly have the money to potentially land key components to further their rebuild, but so far, they have lost out on players due to the factors of player desires and other team offers. Still, it’s too soon to jump the gun on calling this summer a lost cause for Brooklyn, and it surely can’t be regarded as an end-all, be-all situation quite yet.

I’m still convinced Marks has something up his sleeve, even if he strikes out with his first few desired prizes. It’s extremely unlikely that he doesn’t actually have a solid plan and is in full panic mode, even as the options in free agency continue to dwindle. Keep in mind: this year’s free agency class is far and wide, and there are still a galore of players on the market, even on my way off free agency guide. It’s quite possible Brooklyn will come out of the summer with some of the most unexpected acquisitions, given that a few of the names that have been tied to the Nets are off the market. 

The worst case scenario for the Nets this summer? If they have to settle for unproven, questionable NBA-ready level players and ineffective veterans once again. Fans without a doubt would like to see something more stable in place next year — not for the team to run through 21 players in the season.

BROOK-LIN