Monday was a big day for rumors about free agents that the Brooklyn Nets may be interested in and those free agents come from all corners of the world. Let’s start as close to Brooklyn as possible with a free agent from last year’s New Jersey team.
- Kris Humphries. Although The Hump is from Minnesota, we are very familiar with him from his time with the Nets and he has definitely been converted to a New York guy (with all the Kardashian shenanigans). Many fans want to bring back Kris, who was definitely a fan-favorite last season, but it seems like ownership and management is ready to move on without him. In an article that you can read here, Nets GM Billy King says that the Nets need to upgrade most at the power forward position. Last year Humphries averaged a double-double, but it seems like the Nets want even more out of their starting 4. When talking to ESPN in an interview, Humphries said, “It’s the NBA. You never know what’s going to happen. You might be hoping for one thing, but in the end … it’s the NBA.” Humphries clearly wants to be a Brooklyn Net, but he hasn’t gotten strong signals from Billy King and, sadly, I don’t think Kris will be here opening night at Barclays.
- Rudy Gay. This is a rumor that first surfaced today and I really doubt it is true. Gay is from Maryland and went to college in Connecticut, both a few hours drive away from Brooklyn. Gay has been one of the better small forwards in the NBA over the last 5 years or so, but he is by no means a star. Gay is not a free agent, but there are rumors that Memphis wants to get rid of the $54 million that they will owe him over the next 3 seasons. However, none of these rumors have been confirmed, and I honestly have no idea how the Nets would be able to acquire Gay. They have very few trade assets and I don’t know why they would want to lose $54 million in cap space. These rumors make no sense to me.
- Steve Nash. Nash is one of the few Canadiens in the NBA, and he is a future hall-of-famer. It has been rumored that many teams, including the Nets, are interested in Nash’s services next season. Of course for Brooklyn, this would be a back-up plan if Deron Williams decides to go elsewhere. Nash supposedly wants a 3-year deal, which does not make a lot of sense because he is already 38. Although he continues to perform well even at this age, I don’t know how much longer he will be able to keep it up, and he is not really someone who the Nets can build around. Also, at this point in Nash’s career, I think he wants to win a championship, and will he really contend for a championship without Deron Williams in Brooklyn? I doubt it. I predict that if he does not resign with the Suns, Nash will join a team like Miami or New York, who need a point guard, or maybe even the Toronto Raptors, the only Canadien team in the NBA.
- Ersan Ilyasova. Now we’re really starting to go around the world. Ilyasova is originally from Turkey and he has played in Turkey, Spain, and for the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA. The Nets seem to be pushing very hard to sign Ilyasova, who finished second in the NBA Most Improved Player voting last season. He had some big games against the Nets last year, once recording 29 points and 25 rebounds. However, I, along with many other Net fans, believe that Ilyasova is not much of an upgrade over Kris Humphries, may cost more, and is not a fan favorite. I don’t really know why the Nets want Ilyasova so much. Even though he improved a lot from two seasons ago to last season, I don’t think he will improve that much again next season. He may have reached his ceiling. I will not be upset if the Nets sign Ilyasova, because he will help, but the Nets will need much, much more in order to return to the playoffs.
- Mirza Teletovic. This is a guy who has never played in the NBA before and who we really know nothing about. He is from Yugoslavia and has played much of his professional career in Spain. What we do know is that he was one of the most explosive scorers in the Euroleague last season and he is a good shooter. Even though I know next to nothing about Teletovic, I like him. I don’t know why, but I just have a good feeling about him. He could turn into the next Mile Ilic, but he also might actually be able to be a contributor to an NBA team. If you are the Brooklyn Nets, why not take a shot at him? One problem is that he needs a buyout from his Spanish team in order to come to the NBA. This is a situation similar to that of Nets 2011 draft pick, Bojan Bogdanovic, and it is very likely that neither will be in the NBA next season.