Those extra tools the Nets had at their disposal in attempting to re-sign free agents Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young came in handy on the first day of free agency, keeping any team from putting a monkey wrench in their plans.
Moving quickly Wednesday, the Nets agreed to deals with Lopez and Young, according to a source.
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Lopez, who last week opted out of the final year of a contract scheduled to pay him $16.7 million next season, is expected to sign a three-year, $60-million deal, while Young is expected to sign a four-year, $50-million contract.VoteNets 2016-17: Keep 'em or dump 'em?
Deals can't be officially signed or announced until July 9.
Yahoo! Sports reported Lopez's contract includes language to protect the Nets because of the foot problems he's had in the past. Lopez turned in a strong and relatively injury-free 2014-15 season, bouncing back after missing the majority of 2013-14 with a broken right foot.
Though Lopez missed two games at the outset of this past season nursing a sprained right foot and eight others working through a strained back, the seemingly never-ending foot problems that derailed him in parts of the previous five seasons did not arise. He averaged 19.7 points after the All-Star break and was a force in the Nets' first-round playoff loss to the Hawks.
Lopez also worked well in tandem with Young, who stretched the defense at power forward with his range, opening things up for Lopez to operate inside. Young was acquired from the Timberwolves at the Feb. 19 trade deadline in exchange for Kevin Garnett, and he fit nicely, averaging 13.8 points and 5.9 rebounds in 28 regular-season games.
"My family & I are extremely happy 2 continue being a Net," Young wrote on his verified Twitter page. "Thanks 2 all of my fam, friends, & fans 4 ur support. The GRIND doesn't stop here."
With their front line secured, the Nets are turning their attention to filling out the rest of the roster, something that won't be easy given their lack of salary-cap space.
They have only the taxpayer midlevel exception -- valued at roughly $3.3 million -- and can offer a three-year contact worth about $10.9 million. Any other outside help, unless it comes in the form of a trade, would have to be brought in on veteran's minimum contracts.
Either way, the Nets easily are staring at another hefty payroll for the fourth straight season. Factoring in the combined $46 million owed to the aging backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, along with what Lopez and Young are scheduled to make, puts the Nets on the hook for $81 million in salary to those four alone next season.
The decision of a former Net may increase their chances of losing Alan Anderson, one of their two remaining free agents. Paul Pierce reportedly agreed to terms with the Clippers Wednesday, leaving Washington, D.C. after one season, and Anderson reportedly is garnering interest from the Wizards.
Mirza Teletovic's future with the team is still unclear, though the Nets extended a $4.2 million qualifying offer to him last week, making him a restricted free agent.
Notes & quotes: The Nets announced they have signed first-round pick Chris McCullough to a multiyear deal.