Whether one wants to acknowledge this aspect of the NBA or not, the financial side of basketball is of extreme importance. Players will contribute at their highest level if rewarded in monetary form. In turn, their respective franchises will reap the benefits of a foundation with positive morale.
Wins and losses don't always dictate the pace of an organization, though. Instead, the financial roller coaster known as the NBA will take its toll on each and every franchise that it can find.
So how will the most recently relocated Brooklyn Nets handle the latest financial turn of events?
From top to bottom, the following slides will evaluate just that. The financial health of Mikhail Prokorov's franchise will be outlined in every way imaginable and the future will be honored. The question is, how does everything look?
Take a gander and find out.
Joe Johnson: Four years, $89,336,927 remaining ($19,752,645 in 2012-13)
Deron Williams: Five years, $98,750,000 remaining ($17,177,795 in 2012-13)
Brook Lopez: Four years, $61,000,000 remaining ($13,668,750 in 2012-13)
Gerald Wallace: Four years, $40,000,000 remaining ($9,682,435 in 2012-13)
Kris Humphries: Two years, $24,000,000 remaining ($12,000,000 in 2012-13)
Mirza Teletovic: Three years, $9,687,150 remaining ($3,090,000 in 2012-13)
Reggie Evans: Three years, $5,086,905 remaining ($1,622,617 in 2012-13)
MarShon Brooks: One year, $1,160,040 with two team options remaining ($1,160,040 in 2012-13)
C.J. Watson: Two years, $2,099,622 remaining ($2,099,622 in 2012-13)
Jerry Stackhouse: One year, $1,352,181 remaining ($1,352,181 in 2012-13)
Tornike Shengelia: Two years, $1,262,476 remaining ($473,604 in 2012-13)
Tyshawn Taylor: Two years, $1,262,476 remaining ($473,604 in 2012-13)
Keith Bogans: One year, $1,229,255 remaining ($1,229,255 in 2012-13)
Andray Blatche: One year, $1,146,337 remaining ($1,146,337 in 2012-13)
Josh Childress: One year, $1,069,509 remaining ($1,069,509 in 2012-13)
If you know anything about my stance on the Brooklyn Nets, you're well aware that I support Kris Humphries in every way possible. He's a player who deserved a major payday after finishing Top 5 in the league in terms of rebounding for two years running.
But $12 million per season over the next two years? That seems rather excessive.
For what it's worth, Humphries is a necessary asset. His frontcourt partner is a rebounding liability, so the NBA celebrity is as valuable as any. The fact that he's improved on both ends with each passing season is only further reason for optimism.
He simply hasn't done enough to earn himself a $12 million per season contract. Not when his game is still developing and he's already 27.
When healthy, Brook Lopez is one of the better scoring big men in the NBA. He's a virtual lock to put up 20 points a night, despite lacking even the slightest form of athleticism.
Unfortunately, Lopez was paid as if he were more than just a scorer. Lopez was paid as if he were one of the game's elite players.
Regardless of what your personal opinion is of the Stanford alum, there is no way around the type of player he has proven to be. The sluggish big man is a liability on defense, a below-average rebounder and one of the least versatile offensive players in the game.
While the points he produces are worth acknowledgement, he's basically a less dynamic Andrea Bargnani. Overpaid for certain.
Reggie Evans is a rebounding machine who thrives in both physical defense and taking charges. He's also an experienced postseason performer who knows what it takes to lift his team to victory.
Yet he's being paid less than $2 million per season. Something's wrong with this picture.
It isn't as if Evans should be receiving a major contract. After proving to be the Los Angeles Clippers' most consistent interior defender during the 2012 NBA postseason, however, it's hard to explain why he isn't seeing at least $2.5 million a year.
To pay him virtually the same as the Nets are funding Jerry Stackhouse appears to be criminal. This time around, appearances are not deceiving.
C.J. Watson started 25 regular season games for the Chicago Bulls last season. In that time, the former Tennessee Volunteer helped pace the Bulls to the best record in the NBA, despite Derrick Rose missing out on a majority of the key games during the 2011-12 season.
Yet he's getting paid a mere $992,680 this season.
Although Watson is not the greatest payer from a statistical standpoint, he's a great player to have in terms of expanding the floor and changing momentum. His three-point shooting is on par with the best in the league, while his ball handling has improved marginally since he first entered the league.
Considering he'll be spending time either behind or alongside Deron Williams, it's safe to say that he'll be in his comfort zone. Supply a team with quality minutes while a star point guard rests on the bench.
Andray Blatche was once considered to be one of the most overpaid players in the NBA. One humbling amnesty later, and the former Washington Wizard has found himself with a one-year deal via the Brooklyn Nets.
Blatche's future with the team will likely depend on his ability to fill the role of reserve center. He could find the occasional start if Brook Lopez continues to struggle with his health. Blatche could also be limited to less than 20 minutes a night.
Quality and efficiency are the keys to Andray Blatche returning to the Brooklyn Nets during the 2012-13 NBA season. If he performs well enough, however, Blatche may even find himself outside of the Nets' price range.
Keith Bogans is one of the better perimeter defenders the NBA has to offer. His combination of footwork and physicality has led to a warranted reputation as one of the game's great game-changers on the defensive end of the floor.
Unfortunately, Bogans' 2011-12 NBA season was cut short at five appearances after tearing his deltoid ligament. A full recovery could be on the way, though Bogans could also fall victim to a combination of frailty and age.
At 32, consider this to be the turning point in the former Kentucky Wildcat's career.
Should Bogans come back strong and provide the Nets with quality minutes, he could be resigned for the 2013-14 season. His ability to shoot the three-ball certainly doesn't hurt a team who could use an improvement in the shooting department.
If not, expect the journeyman to find a new home.
When Josh Childress entered the league, many labeled him as the next great star in the NBA. Although he hasn't lived up to such a moniker, the smooth-shooting Stanford alum has put together a better career than he's given credit for.
Childress has posted a career 52.4 field goal percentage. He also has career averages of 4.9 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game. If those numbers can be duplicated, Childress may just find himself with a long-term home in Brooklyn.
If not, he will find himself on the outside looking in as rookie Tornike Shengelia steals playing time.
Jerry Stackhouse is entering his 18th season in the NBA. He's 37 years old and hasn't played the entirety of an NBA season since 2000. In fact, he's missed at least 40 games in each of the past four seasons.
For that reason, it's fair to assume that Stackhouse will see limited playing time. His potential results include reprising his role of veteran voice in the locker room during the 2013-14 NBA season or entering free agency for one last go-round.
Either way, his contract will be up after this season and both Jerry Stackhouse and the Brooklyn Nets will have a decision to make.
Unless the Los Angeles Lakers decide to shop Dwight Howard around, it's hard to imagine the Brooklyn Nets pursuing a trade. Regardless of that fact, there is always the outside chance that a move is made as the franchise breathes new life into a team that is threatened by a slow start.
As for how the trade chips would be, look no further than MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez.
Brooks is of extreme value due to his youth and upside. For that reason, it is difficult to imagine the Nets letting go of the former Providence star. Should the right deal come along and the Nets go star crazy, however, the shooting guard could become expendable.
Especially when one considers that Brooks will become a free agent in two short years.
As for Kris Humphries, he's as valuable as any player on the roster. He was also the last starter signed this offseason and appears to be of the least importance to management of any player in the lineup. For that reason, shipping out Humphries as part of a package deal is a legitimate option.
As for Brook Lopez, there are only two ways that he is being shipped out. The first, of course, would be if Dwight Howard were on the other end of the deal. The second would be if Lopez suffers yet another severe injury and the Nets were offered a viable replacement.
If all else fails, a small name swap could always be in the works.
The Brooklyn Nets' starting lineup will take up more than $70 million during the 2013-14 NBA season. Overall, the Nets currently have roughly $79.2 million invested in their players through next season. In case you haven't noticed, that's a boatload of money.
Fortunately, the money has been spent on all five starters and a total of 11 players who should all compete for playing time. A lack of flexibility may not hurt the Nets as much as one would be inclined to believe.
What should concern Nets fans is that the future depends heavily on the results of this season. If it is proven that the current collection of players are unable to build chemistry and produce at a high level, the Nets may find themselves in need of a trade.
Otherwise, these core players will be stuck together for years to come.
As for how the numbers crunch, the Nets will have to pay roughly $11.6 million in luxury tax. Something tells me that just doesn't bother Mikhail Prokhorov.
According to Business Insider, however, it should.
In 2013-14, the Nets will be an estimated $12.9 million over the tax. That yields a $23.5 million tax payment that Prokhorov will have to make to the NBA.
Quite a hefty payment to make. Will it be worth it?
When the Brooklyn Nets locked up both Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace in long-term deals, the question of how MarShon Brooks would maximize his potential began. Two months later, those same doubts continue to grow.
For that reason, the Brooklyn Nets may have to make a financial decision in the very near future.
With MarShon Brooks becoming a free agent after the 2013-14 NBA season, the Nets will be in a difficult situation. With legitimate star potential, Brooks is destined to become one of the hottest names in all of free agency.
So how will the Nets convince him to stay in Brooklyn when all they can offer him is at least two more years of residing as the Sixth Man?
Chances are, they will not. That creates a scenario in which either Joe Johnson or Gerald Wallace must become expendable to secure the future of the franchise. Whether or not they'd make such a move is debatable, but the issue is at hand.
Aside from Brooks' potential departure, the Nets must also deal with the potential loss of Andray Blatche.
While this may seem to be of little importance, Blatche could be one of the key pieces to a potential title run. Without him, the Nets lack a reserve at center and will find themselves vulnerable as they enter yet another offseason looking to plug in a new face.
Continuity could be key here, and Andray Blatche may just be the man for the job.
Grading the Brooklyn Nets' financial health is conflicting.
On one hand, they'll be tied up financially for quite some time with the contracts they handed up this offseason. On the other hand, they have four members of their starting lineup signed for at least four seasons, and the fifth for two.
The answer here can be found in the form of a question: Are you happy with the roster they've pieced together?
If you are, then it's safe to say that the Brooklyn Nets are financially healthy. They have a solid starting lineup in place for roughly a half-decade. They also have enough cap space to bring in quality veterans when need be, which inspires faith in the future.
Unfortunately, three of the Brooklyn Nets' four highest paid players are either approaching or over 30. Brook Lopez, meanwhile, has questions regarding health and is locked up in a max contract. Once Kris Humphries' two-year, $24 million contract is finished, the uncertainty continues.
And that's before we return to what the previous slide addressed: How will the Brooklyn Nets hold on to MarShon Brooks?
The team made some great strides this offseason. They've secured their starting lineup of the future and prepared themselves for consistent postseason appearances. With the factors of age and contract length measured, however, it's become quite clear.
The Brooklyn Nets deserve an A for the moment. Moving forward, however, that grade drops significantly.