Free Agency Rumors
Vasily Karasev, head-coach of Zenit Saint Petersburg and father of Sergey Karasev, said that his son will no longer play for the Nets next season. Brooklyn decided to not pick up the option on Karasev’s contract for 2016-2017 season, so Russian player will be an unrestricted free-agent this summer. In an interview with Izvestia.ru coach Karasev said: ‘Sergey is fine, he’s already working for the next season. It’s too early to say where he’ll play next season. We will consider all the options, both from NBA and Europe. One thing is for sure, Sergey won’t play for the Nets next season’
American guard Jamaal Franklin has signed a two-year deal with Chinese team Shanxi Zhongyu. He already played there this season and averaged 34 points per game. He’ll join the team in October.
Still, after this year’s team battled through plenty of adversity, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle says he hopes to see a bevy of players return to pick up where they left off at during the ’15-16 season. “We’re heading into the summer with some decisions to make. You know, there’s a lot still to be determined,” Carlisle confessed. “We’re going to be persistent and keep banging away. That’s what you’ve got to do,” he added. “You know, this year, even though we didn’t get out of the first round, I thought the guys that we had available competed like champions.
Ainge did admit the team could use a rim protector this offseason, but it won’t be as simple as adding just one piece. “I’m always leery of saying what we need because you don’t just go find a good rim protector, because you lose something. We were the fourth-best defense in the NBA without a rim protector,” he said of the 2015-16 team. “Sometimes you get a rim protector and it hurts your offense. We have some good players, but I think we have to add a few more.”
Ainge also believes Boston should be seen as a viable option for free agents, but cautions that most teams have just as much money to spend in what should be a wild offseason around the league. “There is a lot of money out there because of the new TV contract that is kicking it. It’s going to be challenge and is sort of a new territory for the NBA. I think two-thirds of the league can offer at least one max contract, which has never happened before. We’re a team that can offer two max contracts, but there aren’t that many max contract players on the market. The competition is going to be fierce,” said Ainge. “We have plans that we would like to do and what we’ll do everything we can to try and do, but there are no guarantees in any of that. It’s my job to pull the brakes back and make sure we don’t do something stupid that will hurt our team in the long run.”