NetsDaily Off-Season Report – #6

It’s that time of year again.

The month of June is just beginning and the news is coming little by little. On Wednesday, the Nets decided to postpone the use of the Sixers’ first-round pick for a year. Of course, that doesn’t mean the Nets won’t have a choice. Then came word on Saturday that Igor Kokoskov will join the Nets coaching staff. Additionally, Sean Marks’ most active day is historically Draft Day with multiple trades or deals that brought the Nets Caris LeVert, DeMarre Carroll, D’Angelo Russell and last year Day’Ron Sharpe and Jevon Carter . Etc.

There are several ways to get a draft pick. The Nets could get a pick in larger trades, use their trade exceptions in a salary dump that could produce a pick, or wait until after July 1 to complete a trade with cash considerations. Although the Nets currently have no cash rewards, the rewards replenish on July 1, giving the Nets $6 million to play. And as far as we know, they are still working on the players even after postponing their first-round pick.

Also at the end of June, we will know more about the status of free agents, with June 29 and 30 the key dates for exercising team and player options and the extensions granted or not. Specifically, June 29 is the player option deadline for Patty Mills, Kyrie Irving, the team option deadline for Kessler Edwards, David Duke Jr. and Nicolas Claxton. June 30 is the deadline for the Nets to extend Claxton to four years, $55.6 million. Otherwise, he becomes a restricted free agent the next day. July, of course, will likely be wild with Marks promising plenty of activity in the trade and free agency markets.

It’s time to pay

Sportico, the sports company’s website, has tallied up the luxury tax payments that every NBA team will have to pay the first week of July, when the luxury tax bills come due.

The Warriors, who are in the Finals, and the Nets, who were swept in the first round, lead the league with Golden State far ahead…

But in the all-time top 10, the Nets hold three of the top spots: last year at $101.9; this year to $97.7 million; and the 2013-14 Nets, at $90.6 million. None of the three made it past the second round. ‘Nuff said.

Day’Ron Sharpe lose weight

It’s been six weeks since the season ended and judging by the photos released by the Nets and Day’Ron Sharpe, the big, 20-year-old has gone a little thin…

Presumably the Nets put Sharpe on a conditioning regimen in hopes of making him more mobile in the future. Looks like it’s working.

Another note on Nikola Milutinov

Last week, we noted that the Nets’ lone first-round stash, Nikola Milutinov, faces a decision starting Sunday after Game 7 of the Russian VTB League Finals. CSKA Moscow lost to Zenit St. Petersburg, but Milutinov had 16 points and 15 rebounds. The 27-year-old 7-footer has one year left on his contract with CSKA Moscow but is expected to ask to be released. As we noted, the Euroleague banned its three Russian teams following the invasion of Ukraine in late February.

As we also noted, most of the rumors about Milutinov’s future have centered on Euroleague clubs, but now, with Marc Stein’s report that Igor Kokostov is joining the Nets, could it to change ? Kokostov is Serbian and has in fact been for the last two years the head coach of the Serbian national team whose center has been Milutinov when he was healthy,

Also, we’re told the Nets can sign Milutinov outside of the cap. A deal should be negotiated, but money is less of an issue than we thought. Milutinov is the fourth highest-grossing player in Europe with around $2.5 million report, i.e. after tax. NBA salary figures are gross, before taxes. European players also receive housing and car allowances which do not count towards the $2.5 million.

If the Nets are to buy out Milutinov, NBA teams can contribute up to $800,000 to help with any financial package provided to foreign teams. However, would US financial sanctions affect such a transaction? Again, we don’t know if there is a mutual interest or an interest on both sides.

Moreover, it should be noted that Mike James, Milutinov’s former teammate at CSKA, can also be signed outside the cap. The Nets own his rights since he was not cut by the Nets. His contract simply expired and he signed with AC Monaco.

Alongside the Governor, the Mayor and schoolchildren

This week, the Nets and Liberty issued statements supporting Gov. Hochul and Mayor Adams’ gun safety efforts and called on federal lawmakers to “pass laws that will reduce gun violence.”

Renovations underway at Barclays Center

The 10th anniversary of the opening of Barclays Center will take place around September 28. That night, Jay-Z opened the Flatbush and Atlantic arena with the first of eight concerts. He also showed off the Nets’ new jersey.

No doubt the Nets will be having some kind of anniversary celebration, but in the meantime the entrance plaza, once named for the Daily News and Resorts World and now officially the Seat Geek Plaza, will undergo a renovation that will replace all those blocks – aka cobblestones – we’ve been through the last decade, presumably including those that still bear the Daily News logo.

Norm Oder, critic and columnist for the larger Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, outlined the schedule for the renovation, which begins Monday.

From Monday, June 6, fencing will be constructed behind the Barclays Center MTA entrance for the staging of equipment and materials. Construction should start a week later.

The work will be carried out on a daytime schedule from Monday to Saturday, but the hours have not been provided. To prevent debris from leaving the site, windscreen fencing will be constructed around the staging area and each phase of the work.

Although some access to the entrance to the MTA will be maintained, this access will be truncated, as noted above.

Additionally, there may be a period of one or two days without elevator access to allow for the installation of pavers directly in front of the elevator.

Elevators and escalators will not be out of service at the same time.

As Oder notes, no word on how the place will be different. Will Seat Geek have its own cobblestones??

Meanwhile, just north of Barclays Center is a new Brooklyn icon, the 1,066ft Brooklyn Tower at 9 DeKalb Avenue. It is Brooklyn’s first “super tall” building, a designation that requires a height of 1,000 feet. What also makes the Gotham-esque Black Tower interesting is that it, like the Barclays Center, was designed by SHoP Architects. SHoP also designed Pier 17, which houses ESPN’s New York studios.

Ben Simmons Real Estate Intelligence

No, no deal reports this week, but Simmons took on prime real estate this week when he traveled to Brooklyn Bridge Park with its spectacular views of Lower Manhattan to be with kids from Abraham Community School Stockton, PS 297, who had their year-end field day.

It’s another example of Simmons’ commitment to New York. Simmons, now apparently fully recovered from his outpatient back surgery on May 5, wanted to connect with the Brooklyn community and his people were looking for a community event that fit his schedule. Field day PS 297 worked. Simmons posted the photos to his Instagram account, the first since joining the team in February.

It is not known if he has started rehab. He was supposed to start two to three weeks after the operation. It would have been late May.

Final remark

The NBA head coach’s last remaining opening is for the Charlotte Hornets and Shams Charania reports that Kenny Atkinson, now in the Finals with the Warriors, is the leading candidate. We wish Kenny well with the Warriors and the head coaching gig under Michael Jordan. We wonder if any of the Nets assistants hired under Atkinson will end up in North Carolina. Only a few remain, including Jordan Ott who worked with Atkinson in Atlanta and Brooklyn as well as the Dominican Republic national team.

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