Thursday, July 8, 2010
The Nets' Plan B
By Chad Ford
The New Jersey Nets are on the verge of becoming the team with crazy cap room this offseason that got shut out from all of the major free agents.
If LeBron spurns them tonight, the Nets will have lost the recruiting battle for LeBron, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Rudy Gay and Carlos Boozer, among others. And it sounds like they're not front runners for landing David Lee, either.
I don't think that's what new owner Mikhail Prokhorov anticipated going into the summer.
With more than $30 million in cap space and all of the top free agents off the market, what do they plan on doing?
The first hint came Thursday morning when the team came to terms with Travis Outlaw on a five-year, $35 million deal.
More is on the way.
Sources say that the Nets are strongly considering making an offer to either Tyrus Thomas or Luis Scola to fill their hole at power forward. Both Thomas and Scola are restricted free agents, which means that the Bobcats and Rockets can match any offer.
The team is also exploring trades with teams looking to reduce their payroll. During the draft they had discussions with both the Pacers and Blazers about larger deals that included LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Granger for the rights to No. 3 pick Derrick Favors.
The Nets plan to use about $20 million of their $30 million in cap space this summer. The plan is to hang on to the other $10 million to use as an asset for in-season trades (they way the Thunder have masterfully done the past two years) and, if nothing materializes, roll the cap space over to the 2011 season.