Nets are still miles from signing Milos
Free-Agent Target Teodosic Targeted by Several Other NBA Suitors
The league-worst Brooklyn Nets appear focused on using a good portion of their available free-agent dollars this summer on CSKA Moscow point guard Milos Teodosic.
Unfortunately for them, however, it appears that the market for the 30-year-old Serbian playmaker is ever-expanding.
While the Nets have already scouted Teodosic throughout this past year, hoping to pick up a true point man and brilliant passer to play behind, and at times alongside, Jeremy Lin next season, several other NBA teams, including Atlanta, Sacramento, Toronto and Utah, also are hot on his trail.
Nets general manager Sean Marks, head coach Kenny Atkinson and even billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who used to own CSKA Moscow, have taken the trip to Russia to see Teodosic play since Brooklyn ended its disappointing 20-62 campaign.
The former EuroLeague Most Valuable Player helped CSKA to a 94-70 victory over Real Madrid in Turkey in the circuit’s third-place game earlier this week, completing his obligation to the franchise before indicating that he’d make a decision regarding whether to test the NBA waters in the next few weeks.
The Nets even sent a scout to Istanbul to take in the contest as their interest in securing Teodosic’s talents for the 2017-18 campaign have become undeniable.
With next month’s NBA Draft at Barclays Center looming, the Nets are eager to use the channels at their disposal to bring in new players.
Brooklyn’s first-round pick, the first overall selection, belongs to Boston this year, as it will next year as well, via the terms of the Draft Day deal that brought Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce here four years ago.
Brooklyn will pick at the No. 23 and No. 27 spots in the upcoming draft, and will likely be looking for a wing player, and/or a point guard. But Marks will base his draft selections, at least in part, on whether or not he has already secured Teodosic’s services going forward.
Already touted as one of the best pure passers in the word, the 6-foot-5 Teodosic could provide Atkinson with the option to run a two-quarterback rotation in his backcourt, or simply slide Lin and fast-developing Caris LeVert into the shooting guard spot if Teodosic lands here in Downtown Brooklyn.
It would likely take a three-year, $30 million deal to lure Teodosic to the Nets, who have upwards of $33 million to spend in free agency this summer.
But he isn’t eligible to be officially signed until July 7, meaning Marks has to have some contingency plans in place in case he still has doubts about getting the player he covets before the June 22 draft.
Last month, before his initial offseason trip to Moscow, Marks reiterated how important it is that the Nets remain on their path of patience as they continue to recover from the misbegotten deal that has landed them in their current quagmire.
“The objective for us is to be in the playoffs. When that comes, we’ll see,” Marks said wistfully at the team’s practice facility in Sunset Park on April 19.
“You don’t want to go and sign free agents and then the next thing you know your payroll is capped out and you’re a 25-win team,” he added. “We’re going to have to build this strategically, have patience with it.”
Part of that patient approach may push Marks to avoid engaging in a bidding war for Teodosic, especially if other proven NBA commodities on the free-agent market express an interest in playing here.
But something positive has to happen for the Nets soon if they hope to avoid becoming even more irrelevant on the local sporting scene after winning a combined 41 games over the previous two seasons since reaching the playoffs in their first three seasons in Brooklyn.
“We know that none of us are happy — and that includes our players — winning 20 games,” Marks admitted last month.
“We know we have to build on this, we have to continue to build and continue to get the right caliber of players to fit into this group and be strategic along the way.”
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The Nets announced this week that they will host summer basketball camps throughout the tri-state area, including quite a few right here in Brooklyn, for youth ages 4-14 of all skill levels.
The fourth annual Brooklyn Nets Hamptons Basketball Camp Powered by DRIBBL will return for its fourth consecutive year to Southampton Town Recreation Center.
The Nets and DRIBBL, the award-winning New York-based basketball program, will offer campers in Pre-Kindergarten through eighth grade personalized instruction from Nets personnel and DRIBBL coaches.
Participants will also have the opportunity to meet Brooklyn Nets players and coach Atkinson.
The Junior Nets Basketball Camp will hold two sessions at Aviator Sports in Brooklyn (from July 24-28 and Aug. 7-11), and one session at Summit YMCA in New Jersey for campers in second through eighth grade.
Unity Sports personnel will provide instruction on basketball fundamentals, teamwork, sportsmanship, and personal development. Campers will receive a Junior Nets jersey and one ticket to a select 2017-18 Brooklyn Nets game at Barclays Center.
The inaugural Brooklyn Nets Basketball Academy will hold its first session at York College in Queens, and a second session at Asphalt Green in Battery Park City. Campers ages 6-14 will participate in drills and games, receive camp uniforms, and have a chance to meet Nets players.
For more information on the Brooklyn Nets Hamptons Camp or to register, please click here or contact Teddy Friedman, DRIBBL’s Director of Operations, at 212-717-7651 or [email protected].
For more information on the Junior Nets camp and Brooklyn Nets Basketball Academy summer camp, visit Brooklynnets.com.
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