Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King addressed several topics during an interview Tuesday on WFAN:
King reiterated that while re-signing Livingston is the team’s No. 1 priority this offseason, he wants Pierce back in the fold, as well.
“Paul is somebody that we have an advantage on because we do have his Bird Rights,” King said, noting that he’s placed Livingston at the top of the list because of the “financial limitations” the Nets have when it comes to trying to retain the 28-year-old guard.
King had told reporters recently that he hadn't entered into talks about a contract extension with Pierce, 36, who is in the final year of his deal at $15.3 million.
Having Pierce’s Bird Rights enables the Nets to exceed the salary cap in order to sign him. This, as King said, gives them an advantage financially over other teams.
We broke down the Livingston situation -- one that enables the Nets to only offer him at the max three years and about $10 million -- in this blog entry.
Livingston and Pierce are both represented by agent Jeff Schwartz, who also represents Deron Williams and coach Jason Kidd.
The key quote from King on Livingston: “He fits us and we fit him.”
The health of Brook Lopez
Lopez recently had left ankle and right foot surgery. King reiterated that he believes Lopez can fit into Kidd’s system when he comes back next season and isn't concerned about all of his injury problems.
The biggest thing Kidd said here, however, was that Lopez “maybe got too heavy” (somewhere in the 290-pound range) and that would have to be “modified” to make sure he doesn't have as much pressure on his foot going forward.
The health of Kevin Garnett
King said there is no timetable on when Garnett will return, but the plan is to have him healthy for the stretch run.
Garnett will miss his 14th straight game because of back spasms Wednesday in Charlotte.
“He’s making good progress, I’ll say that,” King said.
The health of Deron Williams
Given that Williams has dealt with ankle injuries the past two seasons, King said it was important that the two sides talk and “maybe we have to look at a different approach in the offseason so this doesn't happen next year.”