It was difficult enough for the Nets to try and advance deeper into the NBA Playoffs with a depleted and hobbled roster. But now comes the really hard part off the court and in the front office.
Brooklyn is faced with a litany of big decisions this offseason as general manager Sean Marks will try to make the necessary roster tweaks he sees fit while owner Joe Tsai potentially prepares to open up his checkbook even more.
The headlining story of the Nets’ offseason will be if — more likely when — Marks opens negotiations on contract extensions for his “Big 3” of Kyrie Irving, James Harden, and Kevin Durant. Each of the stars at the moment is signed through the 2022-23 season — the final year of each of those deals containing a player option that could see them opt out and test the free agency waters.
An extension would obviously push that potential free agency date back, but it’s going to cost Tsai a pretty penny. A deal for Harden could max out at $252.8 million, $234.5 million for Durant, and $217.0 million for Irving.
General expectations are that talks would begin later in the summer if they go down, but another sizable question that will come with the process is if each player negotiates separately or if they do so as a group. Getting all three together in the same room would give Marks and the Nets a better chance to ensure the best financial allocations possible to allow enough space for championship-caliber support.
That supporting staff, however, is very much up in the air right now.
The Nets will have nine free agents this summer including Blake Griffin, Bruce Brown, and Jeff Green while star guard Spencer Dinwiddie — who missed most of 2020-21 with a partial ACL tear — has an opt-out on his deal that he will likely take.
Dinwiddie’s time with the Nets seems as though it’s drawing to a close with the only question remaining being if Marks will be able to work out a sign-and-trade to ensure he gets something in return for the 28-year-old, who will looking to take on a bigger role elsewhere in the NBA.