Nets overpay for mediocrity in hopes of making playoffs
In the opening days of the 2012 NBA free agency the Brooklyn Nets have managed to stay on the headlines with the signing of point guard Deron Williams — labeled savior of a new era — trading garbage for what some fans considered garbage, Joe Johnson and the $89 million he’s owed over the next four season.
Nets general manager Billy King for some reason showed Gerald Wallace the money, a move no other franchise would have done, and inked him for $40 million over the next four seasons. All that is left to do, is to re-sign Brook Lopez and I mean, if there is some spare change in the sofa the Nets can pony up to re-sign Kris Humphries, by doing so will push Brooklyn into the luxury tax though.
Bam. There is it. The moment all New Jersey, I mean, Brooklyn Net fans have been waiting for since the 2010 free agency period. They were able to sign an actual star in Deron Williams, well, talent-wise, not personality. By securing Williams the Nets can now focus their attention of winning. Now, I’m not stoked on the Johnson trade (I didn’t want him in 2010, don’t want him now) but, this is a sign that management is determined to put a winner on the court. For once, the Nets made a decision based on winning games, and not how many new fans they can get, although this will help there chances. Johnson’s game can fit very well in a Nets system. Williams has proven to be one of the top point guards in the league, and Johnson could be a big contributor in the regular season, as for the playoffs, no promises.
With the new acquisitions, the Nets starting lineup next season should look like Williams and Johnson in the back court, with some versatility at the small forward and power forward positions, based on whether they re-sign Humphries. My guess is Wallace at the three and Humphries at the four and Lopez at center. First off the bench should be wing Marshon Brooks, joined by newly signed Bosnian forward Mizra Teletovic. Also coming off the bench will be forward Reggie Evans, University of Kansas point guard Tyshawn Taylor, along with the other second rounders center Tornike Shengelia and Turkey forward Ilkan Karaman.
As of now, almost all the scoring looks like it will come from the starting five, and King has left himself and the franchise with little to no flexibility to make future roster changes. But, honestly, this is a big step in the right direction. NBA fans can probably agree the Nets will make the playoffs next season because of the moves made. While I don’t think fans will be saying “Hey, did you check out that Net game last night? Yeah, Joe Johnson is really good,” the league can be happy a premier market can actually market their team. Although I believe the Nets are now a 45 win team, I think they are a first round playoff exit waiting to happen. But, if you’re like me you won’t hate, you’ll just be happy Dwight Howard is forced to shut up and play out his contract, because the one and only team he wants to play for can’t have him for the foreseeable future.