Just read a summarized version of Billy Hunter’s latest memo to the players, via Marc Stein.
Here are the key takeaways:
• Training camps and free agency are tentatively slated to begin on Dec. 9, assuming that the new CBA is ratified. Assuming that’s the case, the 2011-12 season would begin on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.
• Of the system issues mentioned, the key one is that extend-and-trades still exist. The owners didn’t want them, but they remain.
As with sign-and-trades, players moving pursuant to an extend-and-trade may not receive Bird annual increases or one year longer maximum contract length.
Via SI.com’s full version of the memo:
Except during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, teams are prohibited from acquiring a free agent in a sign-and-trade if their team salary post-transaction would exceed the tax level by more than $4 million. The maximum contract length in a sign-and-trade is four years, and maximum annual increases are 4.5 percent.
Deron Williams can be a free agent at the end of the season if he opts out of the remaining one year and $17.8 million left on his contract. The Nets are going to do everything in their power to lock up their superstar point guard long-term. The question is, will they be able to close the deal?
At this point, no one knows. The Nets have time to persuade Williams to stay. It’s just not that much time. But if he forces the Nets’ hand and it becomes a Melo Drama all over again, at least they’ll be able to get something for him and not lose him for nothing. And perhaps most importantly, they can trade him to a big market team like New York, Los Angeles or Dallas that is over the cap without any ramifications.
• The Nets will be permitted a “do-over” on Travis Outlaw’s albatross if they so choose. The remaining on four years and $28 million of Outlaw’s contract can be voided without any cap hit.
Each team is permitted to waive one player prior to any season of the CBA (only for contracts in place at the inception of the CBA) and have 100 percent of the player’s salary removed from team salary for Cap and Tax purposes.
• While we don’t know what the salary cap is going to be, all NBA teams will have to spend 85 percent of it during the first year of the new 10-year deal.
Minimum team salary will be increased to 85 percent of the salary cap in years one and two, and 90 percent of the salary cap starting in year three.
According to hoopdata.com, the Nets have almost $41 million in salary cap commitments for the upcoming year. Based on last season’s cap number of $58 million (this year’s is still unknown), they’d have around $17 million. But if they amnesty Outlaw, they’d have somewhere in the neighborhood of $24 million, not counting the money they’d have to pay their draft picks, Marshon Brooks and Jordan Williams. If $49 million is 85 percent, the Nets would have to spend around $15 million to be cap compliant, using last season’s numbers.
Right now, the Nets know that Williams, Brook Lopez and very likely Anthony Morrow will comprise 60 percent of their starting five in 2011-12. But they still need a power forward (Kris Humphries is a free agent) and small forward (with Outlaw gone) to fill it out.
Potential targets could include David West, Caron Butler, Jamal Crawford, Andrei Kirilenko, Nene, Tyson Chandler and J.R. Smith among others. Realistically, it may not be possible to land most of them. That’s fine. But the possibility -- given the Nets’ finances -- is there.
GM Billy King will have to decide if he wants to sacrifice future flexibility in order to offer one of them a long-term deal -- especially considering he’s going to be facing the Williams conundrum.
It’s going to be a fun season, that’s for sure.