If you can’t beat them, join them or in the Brooklyn Nets’ case, take them. During Brooklyn’s opening round playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks they witnessed first hand the impact of DeMarre Carroll. Within the six game series the small forward averaged 17.5 points per game, 7.2 rebounds per game and 2.8 assists per game. Not told in the box score was Carroll’s impressive and irritating defensive play that publicised him around the association this season.
Throughout the regular season Carroll guarded the opposition’s best wing player and shot 39.5% on three-point shots. In the playoffs he increased his offensive production scoring 20 points in six consecutive contests, the first Hawk to do so since Dominique Wilkins.
Starting all but one game during his tenure in Atlanta, Carroll felt he may have found a home.
You know Atlanta played a big/major role in my life, major part of my family life so it would always be good to get back to Atlanta. It’s a great system that I grew up in and you know, kind of excelled in. But, on the same token, my options are open and hopefully Atlanta… will be one of my best options, but like I said before my options are open.
Many teams seem interested in Carroll and last year’s salary of $2.4 million will increase subsequently.
Sources say the Hawks are bracing themselves for an asking price of 4 years and $50 million — and given the postseason Carroll put together and the interest around the league, possibly even more,” Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN said. “If the price tag is much higher than that, there’s good reason to believe the flexibility-minded Hawks could bow out, though their strong preference is to retain Carroll.
Although the Nets will likely cross the luxury tax threshold, adding that much money to the payroll appears unlikely. Playing for the Nets, Carroll may have faced difficulties joining the squad. While he would have challenged to be the Nets best player, Carroll prefers to stay at small forward and doesn’t offer much versatility. Currently the Nets are devoting $24 million in one wing spot through Joe Johnson. An investment of that amount requires Johnson to start one of the wing positions, which would give Carroll the other.
That would exclude one of few young and promising Nets, Markel Brown from starting unless he completes his transition to the point guard position. Replacing Deron Williams as the starter there would be doubtful because of the two years and $43 million remaining on Williams’ contract.
Adding Carroll and the positional puzzle accompanying him to the Nets would probably have lasted one season as Johnson enters the last year of his contract.
A tight payroll exempts the Nets from acquiring marquee free agents including Carroll, who would have improved the team tremendously with his defense, shooting and playoff performances.