Possibilities for Nets with remaining cap space

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 18: Tyler Zeller
BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 18: Tyler Zeller /

After trading for Allen Crabbe and waiving Archie Goodwin, the Brooklyn Nets have approximately $5.1 million left in cap space. They’ve been rumored to be on the market for a big, but who might they be targeting?

The Brooklyn Nets entered the offseason with more cap space than the vast majority of the NBA. People expected them to chase RFAs and maybe, just maybe, take on a salary dump (or two). As we know now, both turned out to be true.

The Nets offered Otto Porter Jr. a max contract (4 years, $106 million), but the Wizards opted to match. Shortly after, the Nets made a series of moves to offset the pain of losing out on Porter Jr. According to general manager Sean Marks, going the salary dump route may have benefited the Nets more than signing Otto Porter. In an interview with Netsdaily, Marks said:

"“In a strange set of circumstances, it may have helped us in that it tied up our money and had to go after some different things. You know we have DeMarre in here now, so we’re ecstatic about that as well,”"

The Nets continue to harp on the importance of bringing in a veteran leader such as DeMarre Carroll.

On Thursday’s media availability, Sean Marks went on record saying the Nets could still use another big. I think most would agree. Here’s a quick look at the players filling the Nets’ PF/C slots.

Brooklyn NetsPFC
Trevor BookerTimofey Mozgov
Rondae Hollis-JeffersonJarrett Allen
Quincy Acy
DeMarre Carroll (?)

No disrespect to those guys, but it’s not surprising to hear the Nets are in the market for another big. It’s unlikely the Nets will execute another salary dump due to their shortage of cap space. However, with approximately $5.1 million remaining, they have more than enough to sign a free agent. Here are some options for Brooklyn:

David Lee: Want a veteran who can still contribute? David Lee is your guy. While he may not have the ability to stretch the floor out to the three-point line, Lee has proved time and time again to be one of the most productive and efficient bigs in the game. Lee appeared in 79 games last season for the Spurs, playing 18.7 minutes per game. Take a look at the numbers below.

David LeePointsReboundsAssists
18.7 minutes/game




36 minutes/game




It’s not realistic to imagine David Lee playing 36 minutes/game at this point in his career (34-years-old), but it’s important to realize he can still contribute at a high level.

Tyler Zeller: After spending the first 5 years of his career with Cleveland and Boston, Zeller could use another change of scenery. In his first three seasons (2 with CLE, 1 with BOS), he played an average of 20.8 minutes per game. Since then, he’s played an average of 11 minutes per contest.

However, he’s proven capable of performing well when given the opportunity. He isn’t a 3-point shooter, as he’s only attempted six in his entire career, but he’s a big body that can rebound. At 7’0″, 250-pounds, the Nets could consider the 27-year-old a vets minimum possibility.

Jeff Withey: After the Jazz renounced their rights to the former Kansas star, he became an option for Brooklyn. NBA teams have not given Withey a true chance. He spent the first two years of his career with the Pelicans before signing on with the Jazz and hasn’t averaged more than 12.8 minutes/game (2015-16) in a single season.

However, in that season with Utah, Withey posted per 36 averages of 11.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game. I’ve always considered Withey to be a very formidable backup center for any team. He has a high basketball-IQ and a soft touch around the rim, and has a real ability to block shots. The Nets should consider adding Withey.

Oddly, none of these players have the ability to shoot the three-pointer. With the NBA gearing towards the ‘pace and space’ offense, most of the stretch 4s and 5s have already been scooped up by other teams.

Next: 3 reasons the Nets should retain Spencer Dinwiddie

Brooklyn’s bigs are not three-point threats. The Nets have loaded their guard and wing positions with shooters and playmakers. Head coach Kenny Atkinson could envision an offense where the guards are attacking the basket to set up shooters on the perimeter, but also have the option to find a big man underneath. More traditional style of play.

Either way, expect the Nets to target a big in the coming weeks. They were rumored to have offered a non-guaranteed contract to Jared Sullinger (a stretch-four), but he’s headed to China instead. Stay tuned.