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Nets' core faces uncertainty

Deron Williams #8 of the Brooklyn Nets passes

Deron Williams #8 of the Brooklyn Nets passes during a game against the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena on Jan. 4, 2015 in Miami. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Mike Ehrmann

The Nets' core four could be no more.

With Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young poised to be unrestricted free agents beginning at midnight and the team rumored to be shopping both Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, the collective's days appear numbered.

According to reports, it won't be Lopez or Young who wind up elsewhere next season as both are expected to re-sign with the Nets. Lopez's contract would be for three years and north of $60 million, and Young's would be around $50 million over four years, according to an ESPN report.

Such contracts would keep the Nets' payroll sky-high despite lukewarm results since the team moved to Brooklyn in 2012.

For that reason, it's likely the Nets will deal one or both of Williams and Johnson. Reports yesterday circulated saying the Nets attempted to send Johnson to the Grizzlies, but the deal fell apart.

Williams would be the tougher player to move because he has more years left on his contract than Johnson -- two to one -- and has been prone to injury in recent seasons.

ESPN reported the Nets believe a trade market exists for Williams, so his departure remains possible.


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