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Brooklyn Nets Strike Out on Coveted Restricted Free Agents

Greivis Vasquez  (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)

Greivis Vasquez (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)


NBA free-agency started off well for the Brooklyn Nets.  They brought in Jeremy Lin, Trevor Booker and Justin Hamilton during the first weekend alone.

Things were going great for the Nets, until they decided to dip into the restricted free-agent market.

Before the start of the offseason, Sean Marks knew he had to be creative when it came to this massive rebuilding project he inherited in Brooklyn.  He decided to take a chance on two young restricted free-agents who still have plenty of room to improve in the NBA.

This past Thursday, Marks signed 24-year-old Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson and 24-year-old Portland Trail Blazers guard Allen Crabbe to four-year offer sheets.  Johnson’s deal was worth up to $50 million, white Crabbe’s was worth up to $75 million.  That’s a lot of money to hand to two players with minimal starting experience in the NBA, but the hope was that they can develop into special players under new head coach Kenny Atkinson.

Once both Johnson and Crabbe signed their offer sheets, the Heat and Trail Blazers each had three days to match them and retain their players.

On Sunday, the bad luck for the Nets continued as the Trail Blazers decided to match Brooklyn’s offer for Crabbe, keeping him in Portland.  Later in the day, the Heat matched Johnson’s offer sheet.  Dwayne Wade’s decision to leave Miami for the Chicago Bulls made the Heat financially able to retain Johnson.

Both players were eager to sign with Brooklyn, as their roles would have expanded significantly.  Crabbe would’ve started at shooting guard, while Johnson would have backed up Lin and been the team’s sixth man.

Still, the show must go on for the Nets, and Marks still needs to fill out the remainder of the roster.  The good news is, the Nets still had $33 million in cap space to use on remaining free agents.  The bad news is, there aren’t too many game-changing players left on the market.

Brooklyn rebounded quickly after losing out of Crabbe and Johnson by agreeing to a one-year deal with veteran point guard Greivis Vasquez.  The 29-year-old had an injury-riddled season for the Milwaukee Bucks last year, and wants the chance to redeem himself.   The deal is reportedly worth $5 million.

Look for the Nets to fill out their remaining roster with bargain-bin players.  This way, they will develop the young talent they already have this upcoming season and have plenty of cap flexibility for next year’s mega free-agent class.

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Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
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