The Nets have the NBA’s newest building. They have, arguably, the best starting lineup in the league. And their coach can relate to players – a month ago, Jason Kidd was just wrapping up his Hall of Fame career. Brooklyn has become one of the NBA’s premier destinations, especially after the mega-deal that landed Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. But the true lure of Brooklyn will be tested in the coming weeks, as the Nets fill in the final, critical pieces of their roster. The Nets were over the salary cap before they made the trade for Pierce, Garnett and Jason Terry. Now they’re even more over it. When the Nets are finished making moves, they’ll likely be paying about $100 million in payroll and $80 million in luxury tax. That’s not a problem, considering owner Mikhail Prokhorov is a billionaire many times over, who has proven he doesn’t mind paying obscenely for going over the cap. The issue is with the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement. It severely limits what a team can do once it exceeds the salary cap. The Nets are capped out, and they have four remaining roster spots. For three of those spots, they can offer nothing more than the league’s minimum salary. However, the Nets do have a mini midlevel exception – also known as the taxpayer’s exception – which they could use to entice a free agent to sign. With the mini midlevel exception, the Nets could offer a player a contract starting at $3.18 million next year – and a maximum of thee years and about $10 million. Multiple reports have said the Nets are interested in signing free agent Kyle Korver – a shooting guard who would provide reliable and much-needed marksmanship from three-point range. If the Nets were to sign Korver, it would have to be using the mini midlevel exception. And they’ll likely face stiff competition – teams that are less than $4 million over the salary cap can use the full midlevel exception, and offer Korver as much as four years and about $22 million. It will be interesting to see if Korver’s relationship with Nets general manager Billy King – the two were together when King was in Philadelphia – Deron Williams – the two played together in Utah – and the allure of Brooklyn impacts his decision.
Nets hoping to win over free agents
North Jersey | Jul 1