For all the spending that the Brooklyn Nets have done this offseason, one must admire the way in which they were able to assemble their bench. After paying Joe Johnson about $20 million, Deron Williams about $17 million, Brook Lopez about $14 million, Kris Humphries about $12 million, and Gerald Wallace about $10 million for this season, the Nets had very little money left to spend. And yet they were able to assemble one of the deeper benches in the NBA.
After paying the starters, the Nets gave about $3 million to Mirza Teletovic, who could have made much more elsewhere, and about $1.5 million to Reggie Evans. After that, the rest of the players are either on veterans minimum deals or rookie minimum contracts. In contrast, the New York Knicks spent $10 million on only 3 of their bench players: Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, and Steve Novak.
The lack of bench spending shows the masterful job that Billy King has done this offseason. Although the Nets overpaid their starters, they really didn’t have a choice. Deron Williams was obviously getting a max-contract, Deron would not have re-signed with the Nets if they didn’t trade for Joe Johnson, who has a huge contract, Gerald Wallace would not have re-signed unless he got overpaid, and Brook Lopez would have went to a different team as a restricted free agent if the Nets had not given him a max-contract. King knew he had very little to spend on his bench, but he was still able to create one of the better benches in the NBA.