Thursday, May 3, 2012

Basketball in Brooklyn

The Brooklyn Nets New Logo.

The NBA has a new marquee market in which it will look to tap into. While New York City already has one team, the Knicks; it will now get the chance to latch on to another squad, the Brooklyn Nets. The team from across the River has had more success than the Knicks the past 15 years, and already has strong ties to the city through partial owner and rap icon Jay-Z. For years Brooklyn has been one of the best basketball hot-spots, and has always had a strong connection to the game of basketball. Nets CEO Brett Yormark said in an interview with ESPN that the franchise wants to win over Brooklyn and everything past that is gravy. The Nets will certainly be a popular team next fall when they move into the Barclays Center but to sustain long term success and take full advantage of these new exciting times, the Nets need to be competitive right from the start. The team has a new Image, new logo, New Jersey’s, new color scheme, new feel, and they hope to have a new energy about them that will attract fans. The Nets have already launched their new site along with new gear available to the public. While all these factors are important, the biggest contributor to long term success will be the on court product. 

Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King has his hands full, and will have to do a good job this off-season. The team traded their first round pick (Top 3 protected) for Gerald Wallace who is expected to opt out of his deal with one year left. King hopes to resign him, "It doesn't mean Gerald's saying he's leaving. It's just that it's the way the CBA works and how you get your deals [in the NBA]," King Said. Wallace won’t be the only player potentially exiting before the team even opens up office in Brooklyn, as the Nets only have four players with guaranteed contracts: MarShon Brooks, Johan Petro, Jordan Williams and Anthony Morrow. Not exactly a playoff contending roster. The good news from all this is King has a ton of cap space to play with, and without having to worry about a high draft pick filling any of that up (unless top 3) he can focus on bringing back some of the stars and going and getting those players help. 

Brook Lopez is a restricted Free Agent, and no team should be able to out bid the Nets for the Young centers services. Lopez was banged up this year but still has the potential to be a top 5 NBA center next season. Kris Humphries and high flyer Gerald Green are unrestricted and one of them may be out the door. I expect the Nets to try and keep Humphries because he had a great year, and really started to realize some of his potential.  With all this being said, one man will decide the fate of the Brooklyn Nets. Deron Williams. 

Williams has already been used by the NETS in a
dvertising plans as the team moves to Brooklyn.
D-Will will be the best free agent on the market assuming he opts out of his deal (there is little hope he will pick up his player option) and many teams are lining up for his services. The Nets knew this day would come and cannot miss out n letting him go. Unlike the Cavs with Lebron, Brooklyn gave up a ton just to get Williams for a year and a half. Teams like Dallas can’t wait to have an opportunity to add the star PG, who will have a very busy summer with all this free agent madness along with Olympic basketball. The Nets best bet is to go out and surround D-Will with talent, because all other methods have already been put in place and the Illinois grad still wants to test free agency. While the Nets have lots of enticing features one thing they don't have, and haven't had for years is a competitive team. The Nets must quickly resign Wallace, Humphries, and Lopez along with grabbing a key free agent or trading Lopez for a guy like Dwight Howard. Howard is plan A, but that will be tough to do with Howard opting in already, and the Magic's will to try and get him to stay long term. Another option is OJ Mayo or Eric Gordon, but both are restricted so their current teams can match those offers. Certainly the Nets have a lot of work to do so the team is ready to compete in Brooklyn. It is vital that they put a contender on the court right away, because the people of Brooklyn deserve a winner. The Nets knew years ago that this move was going to happen. I'm not saying they need to be NBA Finals contenders, but a playoff berth would be nice. Teams have handled moves in many different ways. Some have thrived (OKC) and some have not (New Orleans). The Nets will benefit from the market they play in, but even that wont hide a dysfunctional organization. This summer will determine whether basketball will start with a bang in Brooklyn, or continue to spiral downward much like it did in the Garden State.

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