Nets Load Up 2010 Cap Space
New Jersey will only save about $1 million in payroll for the 2009-10 season. But Carter is the only player in the deal with a contract extending into the 2010-11. (There are cheap team options on both Anderson and Lee. Cheap, as in $1.3 million.) With this trade, the Nets now have less than $20 million committed for the 2010-11, giving the team some $40 million to offer up to multiple free agents, or to use in trades. Yes, the Nets can pull two max players in the vaunted summer of 2010.
That $20 million figure assumes the Nets would pick up options on Lee, Brook Lopez and Yi Jianlian, due $4 million in 2010-11. (The Nets can decline that option this fall, should the team desire even more space.) Old rumors of partial owner Sean "Jay-Z" Carter wooing friend LeBron James to the new Brooklyn Nets have died, and died again. But 2010 will feature several big-name free agents, including potentially Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Steve Nash, Amar'e Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki, Joe Johnson, Tracy McGrady, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo.
The only players on the Nets' books will be dynamic point guard Devin Harris, the beastly Lopez, Lee, Yi and this season's No. 11 pick (heavily rumored to be Terrence Williams). Further, the flexibility might help in owner Bruce Ratner's rumored desire to offload the team amid an economic climate that has damaged the franchise's plans to move to a new glitzy arena in Brooklyn.
A trimmed down Nets franchise owned locally and playing in Newark? This is where we note Newark native Shaquille O'Neal will also be a free agent in 2010. He wants to play through 2012, and he'd do everything in his power to sell the team to the community.