Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks had a clear strategy this offseason. With the cap going up to $94 million, he knew that role players would be getting huge contracts, and he didn’t mind paying up to try to bring them in. The Nets weren’t going to lure any big-time free agents, so instead they overpaid for young, promising players with upside that could help usher in a new era at Barclays Center.
They got Jeremy Lin, and then they aggressively went after two restricted free agent wing players: Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe, giving them a total of $125 million to come to New York. It was a bold strategy, but it unfortunately for Brooklyn it did not work out at all, as both the Heat and Trail Blazers have matched the offer sheets on Johnson and Crabbe respectively, making sure they stay put.
The Nets probably didn’t expect Dwyane Wade to jump to Chicago, which made Pat Riley’s decision to match on Johnson a lot easier. They also probably thought $75M was way too high of a price tag for Portland to match on Crabbe, but alas they were wrong again.
Now, instead of having two young wings with upside, the Nets basically struck out in free agency other than signing Lin and Trevor Booker, and they will undoubtedly be one of the weakest teams in the East again next season.