Brooklyn Nets #1 off-season priority; re-sign Deron Williams

deron williams nets

The New Jersey Nets… err… Brooklyn Nets will have a new home next season, moving across the Hudson River to their new home at the Barclays Center.  As the franchise enters a new era, they have plenty of question marks regarding their roster.  Priority number one this off-season for the Nets will be re-signing their star point guard, Deron Williams.
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Applying the Allan Houston Rule to NBA Atlantic Division Teams in 2011

allan houston knicks

One of the topics expected to be discussed during the pending NBA Lockout is the possible revival of The Allan Houston Rule.  When a new CBA was agreed upon in 2005, it allowed NBA teams a one time opportunity to waive a player and not have his contract count against the luxury tax teams have to pay if their team salary exceeds a pre-determined amount set by the league.  The released player becomes a free agent but his salary still gets paid and counts against his former team’s salary cap.  Ironically enough, Allan Houston was not a victim of The Allan Houston Rule.  The Knicks instead decided to waive Jerome Williams.

If the new CBA once again invokes this clause, most teams will probably take advantage since it would save them possibly tens of millions of dollars.  To keep up with the times, we will change the name of this from “The Allan Houston Rule” to the “Rashard Arenas Rule” since Rashard Lewis and Gilbert Arenas easily have the two worst contracts in the league.  Allow me to break down each team and who would end up being the casualties of this rule.  Here is the Atlantic Division.

By: David Kay

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New Jersey Nets Trying to Avoid Repeat of Last Off-Season

deron williams nets

Like we are currently seeing in the NFL, the 2011 NBA off-season is up in the air with a lockout looming.  Free agency could be delayed and completely restructured depending on the new agreement reached by the owners and players.  Still, The Sports Bank will break down all thirty NBA teams over the next six weeks to see what areas they need to address in the off-season.

The New Jersey Nets were hoping to be major players last season, but failed to make a splash in landing a big name free agent.  The team was able to trade for Deron Williams during the season but still have some serious work to do this off-season.

By: David Kay

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New Jersey Nets need a LOT this offseason

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By David Kay

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My Day with Devin Harris (Part 2)

devin

by: David Kay

In his first full season with the New Jersey Nets, Devin Harris made “the leap” from a solid NBA point guard to an All-Star, finishing 14th in the league averaging 21.3 points per game.  He proved to be a building block for a franchise that is in a re-building mode.

Last off-season, the Nets dealt long-time small forward Richard Jefferson to gain more cap flexibility.  A similar move was made earlier this summer when New Jersey traded Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson to Orlando for Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston, and Tony Battie, leaving Harris as the focal point of the team for the up-coming season.

vince-carter-richard-jefferson1“You definitely have to embrace it,” Harris told me in an exclusive one-on-one interview this past Saturday.  “With the move we made, it puts a lot of pressure on my shoulders to be that vocal leader on and off the court, as well as be the primary scorer and the point guard. But it’s something that I’ve wanted since day one… Now I’m starting to become a franchise type player, it’s something that you have to relish.”

Something that Harris won’t relish is the struggles the young Nets are likely to face this season.  Besides Harris, second year center Brook Lopez will be the only returning player who averaged double figures in scoring.  “We have a lot of young guys so hopefully I can bring them along a little quicker so the re-building process doesn’t take as long,” Harris told me.

The re-building process may not take too long in New Jersey.  The former Badger is just one of four Nets guaranteed to be under contract past the 2009-2010 season, meaning they should have plenty of cap space for the much-anticipated 2010 off-season when superstars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh are set to hit the market.  Harris hopes he can be a selling point to a superstar hoping to sign with a bigger market team.

“I’ve been paying a lot of attention this summer to guys who are being brought in. Boston did a great job with bringing Rasheed Wallace in. They sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to recruit him… Those guys know the tricks of the trade that hopefully I can pick up to help bring in another big name.”

devin_harris_4002Harris has also paid attention to what teams in the Eastern Conference have done this off-season.  He acknowledges that the power is shifting from the West to the East, making it more difficult for the Nets to catch-up to the elite teams during their re-building efforts.

“Especially with Cleveland just loading up on talent. Boston’s already been good, but then they add a crafty veteran. Orlando was already in the Finals, but then they add a guy like Vince Carter and Brandon Bass who are proven players. It makes it a little tougher, but a little more challenging as well.”

Beginning Thursday, Harris will be one of 23 NBA stars participating in the U.S. Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp in Las Vegas.  Representing his country in 2012 Olympic Games is a long-term goal, but for the immediate future, Harris wants to help the Nets return to respectability in the NBA.  “It’s a process, sometimes you have to go through the rough ends to make it to the top. We’re working hard to get to that point.”