Nenad Krstic: UPDATE

Nenad Krstic: UPDATE

By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

Nets beat writer Fred Kerber is now reporting in the NYPost Online Edition that Nenad Krstic only has a tentative deal in place with another Russian ball club – not Moscow Dynamo. The club\’s name is Triumph. Further, the deal is not signed or sealed if the Nets can work out a sign-and-trade deal with another NBA club before midnight EST.

The foregoing is why my previous report on this topic was headlined with a question mark. It was further qualified with \”if reports are accurate.\”

It begins to sound more and more like Krstic\’s agent, Mr. Cornstein, is using the Russian option as leverage in an attempt to force the Nets into a sign-and-trade with another NBA ball club. I think Nenad wants to remain in the NBA, and this suggests that other teams are interested enough to ante-up enough to go along with such a scenario.

In any event, I don\’t think the Nets will do anything that isn\’t in their best interests. If Nenad plays overseas, the Nets still retain their rights to the restricted free agent.

If the Russian threat is merely a bluff, then by holding firm the Nets will end up with more from any NBA club interested in making a deal for Nenad. More on this as news breaks.*

No other NBA team has tendered an offer to Nenad, who is a Restricted Free Agent, so far. Obviously, there is interest, but it all depends on what the Nets will want in a sign-and-trade. The Nets will match any offer within reason.

NOTES: I don\’t think Nenad wants to spend a year or more in Russia. I could be wrong, but it is probably a bluff by his agent seeking to force a trade.

I think Nenad wants as much as $9.1mil per year USD. It doesn\’t sound like the market is there for him right now in the US.

Kerber said that Nenad had a deal in place for \”two-year[s] [at] 5.78 million (euros).\” If so, that\’s only $9.08mil USD.

Over two years, the deal would seem to amount to approximately $4.54 USD per year. Now, if that\’s all tax-free, then it would be the equivalent of approximately $9.08 USD after taxes.

That brings us to the question of whether the Russian offer is all guaranteed? Can the guarantee be enforced if things go bad?

Can the Nets or any other NBA club be willing to pay the equivalent of $9.08mil guaranteed over two years for Nenad\’s services? Nenad would still have to pay half of that in taxes just to remain in the US.

From a purely financial point-of-view, it would apear that Nenad is better served to take the money from the Russian club. I don\’t think any NBA team will pay Nenad as much as $9.1 mil per year pre-tax (to equal the euro deal) to join them merely to compete with the overseas offer, but you never know.

On the other hand, if Nenad wanted the MLE, I think some team might risk it on him. Some club over the cap might risk even more if he was offered in a sign and trade.

I doubt any team with serious cap room would invest too heavily in Nenad given the injury-plagued year he\’s come off. So, given the situation, if Nenad wants to stay in the US, chances are he\’ll have to take somewhat less and put up with US taxes (which makes it even less).

I think it\’s Nenad\’s call where he wants to be and where he is going. He once said money wasn\’t as important, but may have to compromise if that\’s the case. I don\’t see him having a lot of leverage short of signing overseas. Maybe Nenad wants the Nets or another NBA club to come as close to the European offer as they can?

Will the Russian team Nenad might join be a serious contender for the Euroleague title? Would Maccabi Tel-Aviv, perennial Euroleague power, be able to offer him more?

If reports are accurate, it turns out that Bostjan \”Boki\” Nachbar only got e9.3mil over three years – not the e14.3mil that was originally reported. It means that Russian teams were offering Boki $4.87mil tax-free per year and Nenad about the same: $4.54.

UPDATE: It appears that Nenad will be signing overseas at midnight with the blessings of the Nets. He can opt out to return in a year if his game is back where he wants it. If not, the Nets do not have to fit him onto the roster. No matter, they retain the rights to Krstic.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2008 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

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