The NBA salary cap is rising so much, even the Nets project to have cap space next summer.
So, cheap rookie-scale contracts are becoming more valuable. Salaries for first-round picks were determined before the new national TV contracts, making rookie-scale contracts even more relatively deflated than usual.
Still, not every rookie-scale deal is team-friendly. Hence, the Nets are declining Sergey Karasev‘s $2,463,754 fourth-year option for next season.
Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops:
Karasev, who has yet to crack the rotation after dislocating his patella and tearing his MCL last March, will become an unrestricted free agent.
Maybe Brooklyn sees Karasev has lost some of the athleticism that makes him intriguing at age 22. Otherwise, I’m not a big fan of declining this option.
If Karasev develops a more reliable outside shot and better feel for the NBA game, his salary would be a tremendous value. Most players his age improve.
If Karasev struggles, the downside of waiving him and eating his salary – maybe even in stretching it – isn’t that costly. Karasev needn’t a likely success to justify that small outlay.
Again, the Nets should know Karasev better than the rest of us. If they don’t think he’s worth even $2.5 million, that’s probably telling.