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Now what for the Nets? Relax, have a vodka shot, stop with quick fix.

Feb 22, 2011, 2:09 PM EDT

New Jersey Nets Owner Mikhail Prokhorov Meets with Jay Z Getty Images

It’s just not that easy.

All the swagger of a Russian billionaire playboy and a hip-hop icon and mogul can not instantly transform an NBA franchise. It cannot get free agents to walk through the door, let alone knock it down.

The Nets Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z made a good pitch to LeBron James, but we all know about his talents and South Beach. Then they made a pitch to Carmelo Anthony — how good a pitch is up for debate, there are rumors it wasn’t impressive — and he ended up with the other team in the same market.

So, the Nets are back to square one. Now what?

Be patient. Relax. Have a vodka shot and hear me out.

The Nets may have been going about this backwards, looking to trade all their picks for one established superstar. The quick fix. However, what was said when Prokhorov was leading with his chin during the LeBron sweepstakes remains true now — there are some nice pieces to build around.

Brook Lopez may have taken a step back offensively this season, and he may be deathly allergic to rebounding (can you think of a worse rebounding 7-foot traditional center?), but the guy is still a 20-point a game scorer with offensive skills. He still can clog the lane on defense. There are not a lot of guys like him around the league and while he may not develop into a superstar he remains a quality big man you can use to anchor the middle.

Derrick Favors needs time to develop — don’t expect him to come out of the gate like Blake Griffin — but he has the potential to be very good. It’s going to take a few years and good coaching. Anthony Morrow could be the kind of scoring two guard most teams crave. Kris Humphries is solid inside. On and on.

Use the picks you almost sent away to add to that — Billy King has done well in the draft before. Give him a chance again. That is how the Nets rose to the top of the East a decade ago — drafted a good team around Jason Kidd, who they got for a steal on the free agent market.

In a couple years you’ll be in a brand new building in New York, that young core will be coming along and one of these free agents may look at this franchise and say, “I need to be there.” And when he does there will be a real core of players to round out the roster.

But for now be patient (despite the losses). Build slowly, steadily. Stop looking for the quick fix.

  1. leearmon - Feb 22, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Im interested to see what they’ll offer Brook after next season (if there is a season next year) when Lopez is a RFA. You know some team will drive a hard bargain and sign him to a high offer-sheet because hes a 7 foot guy who can score. But is he really worth more than 45 million? Is he even worth that? And the jury is still out on Favors. He could blossom, or he could be Kwame Brown. Who knows. I do know that the Nets were ready to trade him before they even saw him step on a NBA floor during a regular season game, so the news can’t be that good. They really should try to trade for Gallinari. That would really drive a steak at the Knicks hearts and possibly steal from their cross town rivals. Humphries is up after this season, and with the numbers he’s putting up, hes bound to be overpaid. They have their hands full, but atleast the music they’ll be pllaying in their new arena will be good. Plus they get to look up close and personal at Beyonce’…

  2. goforthanddie - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    They’re lucky they didn’t get Mr. Vasquez. 5 first-round picks over 2 years can get you some nice talent, either drafting or trading picks.

  3. georgeanderson2 - Feb 22, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Nets need to stay the course , draft young guys and no big contracts until they arrive in Brooklyn. It will be a chance to start fresh as basically a new franchise in NYC, in Brooklyn. Nobody wants to play for the travel team in Jersey. Within 4 years people will be wearing Brooklyn “whatever their name is” gear everywhere. It will be exciting for the league, young guys will want to be apart of making their mark on the Brooklyn franchise not Jersey.

  4. Brent Sonnek-Schmelz, CZO - Feb 22, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Just for a little clarification, Kidd was not a free agent signing. The Nets traded Marbury to the Suns for him on the heels of a domestic abuse scandal. It was a steal of a trade.

  5. royalfork - Feb 23, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Billy King has done well in the draft before?
    What has he done? Besides, financially drowning the Sixers, he never built around AI. Larry Hughes before Dirk and Paul Pierce? Many think IGGY was his best choice, but that’s even arguable when Al Jeferson, Jameer Nelson and Jr Smith were still on the board.

  6. wartybliggens - Feb 23, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    “Brook Lopez: can you think of a worse rebounding 7-foot traditional center?”

    In two words, EDDIE CURRY!

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