Well, I don't know if the Nets can even do anything during the off-season, so this blog entry may be pointless. The reason being, going off my knowledge, the Nets already have their 15 man roster set.
As of now, this is my depth chart:
Point guard- Devin Harris, Rafer Alston, Keyon Dooling
Shooting Guard- Courtney Lee, CDR
Small Fordward- Terrence Williams, Bobby Simmons, Jarvis Hayes, Trenton Hassell
Power Forward- Yi, Najera, Sean Williams
Center- Brook Lopez, Tony Battie, Josh Boone
According to my math that's 15. Hollinger said the Nets have 14 players, I don't know who he thinks won't be back. The guys who are possibilities for not returning are:
Hassell- Player Option- There's no way he's making close to $4.35 million in this market elsewhere, he's staying.
Hayes- Team Option- Most likely to be gone. He's scheduled to make $2 million next season. I'm not sure if this option is still available though. I think he'll be back.
Sean Williams- Team Option. This goes off what I read during the season. There's a morality clause in his contract that allows the Nets to cut him due to off-court events like throwing a cash register.
From a competitive stand point, this team is awful as is. A rookie, a couple of sophomores, a third year guy in Yi and then Harris will comprise the Nets starting lineup. Just sad. Granted their all young and have a lot of potential, but they won't win many games next season. Another sad aspect is that their starting roster's salary will make $16 million, $7.7 of which comes from Devin Harris. Meanwhile, Bobby Simmons and Tony Battie will make the same amount. Just awful.
In total, the Nets' salary will be around $55 million, which is below their $62 million salary total from last season, 4th lowest in the league. While many teams will also be lower this year compared to last season, I can't imagine the Nets not being in the top five for lowest team salary. Shows how much they want to invest in their fans.
Anyway, here are the Nets' expiring contracts:
Bobby Simmons- $10.56 million
Tony Battie- $6.2 million
Rafer Alston- $5.25 million
Trenton Hassell- $4.35 million
Jarvis Hayes- $2.06 million
Josh Boone- $2.06 million
Sean Williams- $1.63 million- unless he magically learns how to play basketball and the Nets pick up their team option
That's eight players and close to $33 million off the books, plenty of money to throw at potential free agents. I do think the Nets will make a trade or two during the season, probably involving Alston and maybe Bobby Simmons who will probably play well this season like he did last time he was in a contract year. I can definitely see the Nets buying out Battie, possibly Simmons, Alston, and Hassell.
So like I said earlier, I don't know if the Nets can do anything at this point because their roster is literally full. I think sign-and-trades involving Carlos Boozer or Shawn Marion are out the window because the Nets now don't have anything of value to give back. So unless I find out that either Sean Williams (I pray every night that he gets traded or released), Jarvis Hayes, or Trenton Hassell(him too) are gone, I'm going to say that, there is no next phase and I made this post mainly to vent my frustrations and to look at next year's team.
If the Nets did have an empty roster spot, I would look at Jamario Moon, Flip Murray, Luther Head, Kareem Rush, and Matt Barnes. All of those guys would be relatively cheap, and could play multiple positions. I don't think the Nets could spend more than $2 million anyway, so we can't expect much else out of them.