Although it seems like a guarantee, the New Jersey Nets are not married to the idea of waiving small forward Travis Outlaw via the amnesty clause, according to a league source.
"The only guarantees are death and taxes," the source said, adding that the Nets will likely wait and see how free agency shakes out before making a decision on Outlaw, who has four years and $28 million remaining on his contract.
The Nets currently have $16 million in cap space, the source said, but after factoring in free-agent power forward Kris Humphries' cap hold, it's roughly $9.5 million. Of course, if they were to amnesty Outlaw and renounce Humphries' cap hold, it would rise to about $22 million-$23 million.
The Nets are currently pursuing Denver Nuggets center Nene and Dallas Mavericks center Tyson Chandler, and there is a "good chance" they end up with one of them, the source said. The Nets would have enough cap space to sign one of them just by renouncing Humphries.
General manager Billy King has made it known that he plans to be aggressive this offseason, and his No. 1 priority is getting an impact player in the frontcourt.
Both Nene and Chandler fit that bill.
The Nets also have explored acquiring Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein, and assembled a blockbuster trade package that would include Brook Lopez and two future first-round picks. King, however, said he hasn't spoken with Magic GM Otis Smith since February, and made it known that he wants to avoid the circus-like media atmosphere that surrounded the team during its pursuit of Carmelo Anthony.
The Nets are also exploring potentially putting in an offer to restricted Nuggets shooting guard Arron Afflalo, sources told Stein. And they may be interested in shooting guard Brandon Roy if the Portland Trail Blazers amnesty him, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard.
The Nets are exploring every avenue in an attempt to put talent around point guard Deron Williams. He recently made headlines when his agent said the All-Star wouldn't sign an extension with the Nets during the season, which means he'll opt out.
That doesn't come as a surprise, though, given that Williams could get a year and approximately $30 million more on his contract by opting out and then re-signing with the Nets, if that's what he decides to do.
The Nets don't have to amnesty Outlaw, who shot just 37.5 percent from the field in 2011-12, this season. They have the opportunity to do it during the life of his contract.
Via ESPN.com's Chad Ford: "All NBA teams are permitted to waive one player with pay prior to any season of the labor deal -- only for contracts in place with the team making the move as of July 1, 2011 -- and have 100 percent of the player's salary removed from a team's payroll for both salary-cap and luxury-taxes purposes."
The Nets will play out the 2011-12 season in Newark at the Prudential Center, but they are slated to move to Brooklyn and play in the $1 billion Barclays Center in 2012-13, and would love to have a playoff contender by the time they get there.