Home » Blog » Where do the Nets go from here?

Where do the Nets go from here?

The Brooklyn Nets are the worst possible position for an NBA team; stuck square in the middle. If you root for a team in The Association, you want your group to either be contending for a championship or in the lottery. Of course, the latter option should only make you happy for a year or two before everyone starts screaming for some progress. Ask Philadelphia 76ers fans how they feel about being in the lottery for the 86th straight year.

Brooklyn was able to sneak into the Eastern Conference playoffs as a pathetic eighth seed, only getting into the postseason because the East is absolutely rancid. Brooklyn posted a record of 38-44, finishing behind both the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics in the Atlantic Division. After losing a fairly hard-fought series to the top-seeded Atlanta Hawks in the first round, the Nets were sent packing for the summer with nothing but questions ahead of them.

Unfortunately for Brooklyn and its faithful, there is no quick fix to this malaise. The Nets have a ton of huge contracts, with general manager Billy King hoping to land his own version of the Big Three and coming up woefully short. Brooklyn is still looking at a $24.89 million payday for shooting guard Joe Johnson next year, along with two years and more than $43 million for point guard Deron Williams. Additionally, center Brook Lopez is on the books for $16.7 million, although he has the option to opt out and become an unrestricted free agent. If he does, expect a bidding war for the young center’s talents.

If Brooklyn is smart, it hopes to sign Lopez long-term while keeping the young, cheap Mason Plumlee as a nice option off the bench. Meanwhile, King has to get to work on the draft. The best bet for the Nets is finding some talent in the middle of this first round, which is loaded with quality players. The fans need to recognize that Brooklyn is going to deal with another mediocre season, but that’s the tax for paying players a premium and being wrong.

While it is tempting to trade Johnson and his expiring contract, the Nets would be smart to simply let his contract run off the books. In the NBA, you have to trade equal money, meaning Brooklyn would be accepting other players who likely have more than one year on their deals. Let Johnson become a free agent and get that money back to spend on up-and-coming stars.

All Brooklyn needs to do is look across New York City and take a look at how exactly not to run a franchise. The New York Knicks have been chasing after relevancy for 15 years and failed miserably, constantly loading up the roster with bloated cap numbers.

The Nets still have a chance to escape this issue without going into a decade-long funk. Hopefully they make the correct decisions.

  • 100%