In the first move of the free-agency signing period, the Brooklyn Nets have agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract with forward Gerald Wallace.
Before the signing, the Nets only had around $12 million committed to salaries for 2012-13. However, the Nets have aspirations to sign free agent point guard Deron Williams and trade for Joe Johnson and/or Dwight Howard. The 2012-13 price tags for those three players would each be in the vicinity of $18-20 million apiece.
The salary cap for the 2012-13 season will be at least $58 million, but it could go higher when it is announced in 10 days, and teams can go over the cap to sign their own players for whom they hold the Bird rights, which the Nets do for both Williams and Wallace.
The Nets have been rumored to have expressed interest in signing unrestricted free agent and Bucks power forward Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova is expected to sign a contract that nets him somewhere between $6 to $10 million dollars per season. However, the Nets were widely considered to be the team that could offer him the most lucrative deal. With today’s Wallace signing and the deals rumored to be on the horizon, the Nets salary situation could get murkier.
Even if the Nets can still afford to sign Ilyasova, they may need to wait for other developments to play our before proceeding. While Ilyasova would make an ideal candidate to play with two of the aforementioned “max-deal” trio (plus Wallace), the other two contracts may limit what they could afford to offer Ersan.
The NBA’s free agency signing period begins today, though there is a ten-day moratorium on actually signing the deals while the numbers for Basketball-Related Income (BRI) are agreed upon by the player and owners. Once that number is set, the NBA can release its salary cap for the 2012-13 season, and teams can officially sign deals with teams.