Mar 16, 2012, 7:28 PM EDT
The Nets are moving to Brooklyn next season — they wanted to enter the nation’s largest market with a splash. They made a bold trade a year ago to get Deron Williams — giving up a lot of good prospects like Derrick Favors — in hopes they could use him and the looming bright lights of New York to lure in other big names.
Actually, one big name — Dwight Howard.
A Deron and Dwight combo could rival the star power of that other team in New York and would give them a foundation that — with the right other players on the roster — could contend. And contend in that market with the Knicks (sort of, anyway, New York will always be a Knicks town).
But Howard has decided to stay in Orlando for another year. Maybe longer.
And that gave the Nets a second chance at this — start making moves for the long term or keep going with the short-term strategy so they could make a splash in Brooklyn.
They went short term. That may set them back in the long term.
First, Thuyrsday they traded for Gerald Wallace — the slightly injured small forward from Portland. Who can opt out of his contract after the season just like Williams. But a guy who can score and brings defense they sorely need.
The Nets starting five the rest of this season is not bad if healthy — Williams, MarShon Brooks, Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez. Who are they going to go after this summer? Kevin Garnett, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. That would be 36-year-old Kevin Garnett. Who has not been the same player the last couple of years.
Is that going to keep Williams in town? He already said he will opt-out o his deal and test the market. We know that the Mavericks in his hometown of Dallas can offer him a max deal (less than the Nets can offer, but a pretty penny) for him to come and play next to Dirk Nowitzki.
“This trade was really done to get us a small forward,” King said, “a former All-Star, somebody to give us some great defense, versatility, someone to play hard …” As for protecting the pick only #1 through #3, King said following conversations with their scouts, the team did not see any immediate-impact players beyond their projected top three in next year’s draft.
That is short-term thinking. If you can’t get a player who can help you in a couple years drafting about No. 7 (in what is considered the deepest draft in years), you are doing it wrong. In a few years, when Wallace is somewhere else and that pick the Blazers has is a steady part of their rotation, Nets fans will howl.
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