The Brooklyn Nets are in a weird place right now. There appears to be an earnest belief within the organization that the team is ready to become relevant again, but at the same time, contingency plans have been put in place should this season turn out to be yet another forgettable year.
Take for instance the situation of forward DeMarre Carroll. In his podcast, Zach Lowe discussed the peculiar relationship the Nets currently have with the 31-year-old. It appears that the Nets would be willing to part ways with their second-highest paid player (Carroll is owed $15.4 million this season) via a buyout, should the circumstances call for it.
“I don’t think the Nets are dying to buy out DeMarre Carroll, they like him, a great locker room guy for them last year,” Lowe explains. “They also sold the idea when they acquired him of, ‘yes, we paid $31 million for a bad pick, which became the 29th pick, but we believe we can rehabilitate his trade value down the line and flip him for positive value down the line.’ I don’t think that is going to happen at this point. And I can see everyone [in Brooklyn] agreeing, ’hey we stink again because we haven’t had a draft pick in 17 years and you want to play for a contender, let’s make it happen.’”
In simpler terms, if the Nets get a strong start to the season and shape up to be a Playoff-contending team, then they will be keeping Carroll on. Otherwise, it may be in the best interest of both parties if the Nets just buy out Carroll's contract, thereby allowing him to join a different team.
Should the Nets decide to push through with this, they will be getting very little value — if anything — in return. Perhaps its just the team showing their appreciation to Carroll for all the hard work he has put in for the team. Then again, there's probably more to this than meets the eye.