MarShon Brooks is the only player on the Brooklyn Nets’ roster who didn’t have anything done to his contract this summer.
Talk about an offseason overhaul.
This summer alone, the Nets spent in the neighborhood of $330 million, retaining five players (four of them starters) and bringing in nine newcomers -- two via trades, two via draft-day deals and five via free agency.
As currently constituted, their roster is arguably as deep as any team in the NBA. And yet, at their best, they’re probably a 50-win team that gets eliminated by the Miami Heat in the second round.
Still, for a team that won just 58 games combined over the previous three seasons, that would signify progress.
On Tuesday, the Nets likely capped off what can only be described as an impressive offseason, agreeing to terms with backup small forward Josh Childress on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract.
Just three months ago, there was serious concern whether they’d be able to keep unrestricted free agent superstar Deron Williams from bolting for his hometown of Dallas. Losing Williams would’ve been devastating with the franchise set to move into the $1 billion Barclays Center prior to the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
Determined to keep that happening -- and armed with a boatload of money to spend -- GM Billy King and assistant GM Bobby Marks got to work. At some points, it seemed they were interested in every free agent on the market. Anything to please D-Will.
Here’s how the roster came together:
• On July 1, the first day of free agency, the Nets agreed to terms with Gerald Wallace on a four-year, $40 million deal. That same day, while D-Will was meeting with the Mavericks, they were also working on blockbuster trades for Dwight Howard and Joe Johnson.
• On July 2, the Hawks agreed to deal the six-time All-Star Johnson and the remaining four years, $89.3 million on his contract to the Nets in exchange for Jordan Farmar, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow, Jordan Williams, DeShawn Stevenson and a future first-round pick.
• On July 3, the Nets agreed with Bosnian stretch four Mirza Teletovic using their full mid-level exception, and executed a sign-and-trade deal for rugged rebounder Reggie Evans (three years, $5 million). That evening, Williams tweeted that he was staying with Brooklyn and had agreed to a max deal worth $98.8 million over five years.
While King and coach Avery Johnson both maintained their confidence that Williams would stay, the three-time All-Star point guard said the difference proved to be the Johnson trade. King, once heavily criticized for trading the team’s sixth overall selection in the 2012 draft for Wallace, was flooded with praise.
King and Marks spent countless hours trying to land Howard -- dating all the way back to last December -- but never could reel him in. Three-team proposals. Four-team proposals. A last-ditch proposal that would’ve sent Brook Lopez, Brooks, Kris Humphries and four firsts to Orlando was rejected. So the Nets decided to move on.
• On July 11, the same day all their transactions become official and they agreed to terms with veteran Jerry Stackhouse (one year, $1.3 million), the Nets declared their pursuit of D-12 was over. They agreed to terms with Lopez on a four-year, $60.8 million contract that same night.
• On July 12, Russian billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov released a statement saying he was “thrilled” with the way the roster had been constructed.
• On July 13, the Nets introduced “Brooklyn’s Backcourt,” and Johnson wound up making his bold declaration that the Nets were better then their rivals across the East River, the New York Knicks.
• They agreed to terms with C.J. Watson for the veteran's minimum on July 14 and Kris Humphries (two years, $24 million) on July 17, and made their signing of Keith Bogans (one year, $850,000) official on July 19. The Nets rounded out their roster by agreeing with Andray Blatche and Childress on non-guaranteed deals this month.
Both Johnson and Lopez have said their goal is to win a championship. Sounds far-fetched.
Just don’t tell Williams that.
“People sleep on us and we'll let them do that. That's fine,” Williams told the Associated Press. “We have no excuses. I think everybody's at the point in their career where they want to win. There's no hidden agendas, there's no contract issues. Pretty much everybody's locked in and ready to focus on basketball.”
A look at the depth chart:
C: Brook Lopez/Andray Blatche/Reggie Evans
PF: Kris Humphries/Mirza Teletovic/Tornike Shengelia
SF: Gerald Wallace/Josh Childress/Jerry Stackhouse
SG: Joe Johnson/MarShon Brooks/Keith Bogans
PG: Deron Williams/CJ Watson/Tyshawn Taylor