The Nets bought the rights to No. 59 pick Xavier Thames on draft night last year, but they didn’t sign him. He spent the season overseas and in the D-League.
To keep Thames’ rights, the Nets would have had to offer him the required tender – a one-year contract, surely unguaranteed at the league minimum – by last Monday.
They didn’t do that.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
Mike Mazzeo of ESPN:
The Nets didn’t extend the tender, because they feared Thames would have accepted it. If he had declined, they would have kept his rights for another year without having to pay him or use a roster spot on him.
If he had accepted, they could have waived him without paying him before the regular season. Essentially, Brooklyn would have gotten a potentially free training-camp tryout from Thames.
Emphasis on “potentially,” though. If Thames got hurt, his contract would have become guaranteed until he got healthy. Brooklyn obviously didn’t think Thames justified that risk.
This is good news for the six Nets without guaranteed salaries: Quincy Miller, Dahntay Jones, Donald Sloan, Willie Reed, Markel Brown and Ryan Boatright. They’ll compete with one fewer player for the three regular-season roster spots behind the 12 Nets with guaranteed salaries. (Unless Brooklyn signs another, better player now that Thames is out of the picture. Then, the six are obviously worse off.)