Not later. Now. As in immediately. If the season started today instead of waiting until the fall, that probably would be fine with the Nets.
After acquiring aging stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and two other players in a trade with the Boston Celtics, Brooklyn’s payroll will be $98 million next season.
The league salary cap will be a little under $59 million, which means under league rules, the Nets will pay an additional $70 million in luxury taxes to the NBA.
That means the Nets will spend about $168 million just for their players.
And these players better win, because there’s not a whole lot of help coming for a while.
As part of the deal with the Celtics, the Nets traded Gerald Wallace and four scrubs and – most importantly – first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018. In addition, the Celtics can request they swap first-round picks in 2017.
I guess the Nets are imagining themselves winning lots of playoff games, so those picks would come late in the round when all the difference-makers are gone.
For their sakes, let’s hope that’s the case. They’ve traded away a big part of their future for essentially a couple of players who may or may not have much left in the tank. Is that a smart deal?
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-235-3570. Follow on Twitter @MarkSportsStar.