The New Jersey Nets figure to be heavily involved in a quest for a top-flight big man once free agency officially begins. Tyson Chandler and Nene will be the first names mentioned, but the real target is even bigger: Dwight Howard.
Here's a look at the Nets' salary cap levels over the past six seasons.
Since stepping down from contention in the Jason Kidd-Vince Carter era, the Nets have been fairly frugal in the aggregate. But Mikhail Prokhorov has promised the Nets will walk loudly going forward.
Heading into free agency, the Nets have a cap figure of $41 million with the leaguewide team salary cap set at $58 million and the luxury tax line at $70 million.
The Nets' free agents are:
New Jersey could make a move to retain Humphries if the better options fall through; if nothing else, Hump on a reasonable contract is a movable asset. The other free agents are not high priorities in any sense.
The predominant New Jersey-Dwight rumor involves Brook Lopez and the Nets taking back a bad Orlando contract (Hedo Turkoglu, most likely). The Nets spent most of their assets landing Deron Williams, but Lopez is a good starting point on a package for Howard ... assuming other teams don't start throwing better offers the Magic's way. Unlike Chris Paul, Howard hasn't to date limited his list of teams he'll sign a new deal in 2012 with. That puts the Nets -- who will move to Brooklyn by this time next year -- at a disadvantage, assuming Howard values New York as much as he does Los Angeles.
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