Personnel additions: Kevin Garnett (trade), Paul Pierce (trade), Jason Terry (trade), Andrei Kirilenko (free agency), Shaun Livingston (free agency), Alan Anderson (free agency), Mason Plumlee (draft)
Personnel subtractions: Kris Humphries (trade), Gerald Wallace (trade), MarShon Brooks (trade), Keith Bogans (trade), Kris Joseph (trade), C.J. Watson (free agency), Jerry Stackhouse (expected to take job with union)
Coaching additions: Jason Kidd (head coach), Lawrence Frank (assistant), John Welch (assistant), Roy Rogers (assistant), Joe Prunty (assistant), Charles Klask (assistant)
Offseason Grade: A-
It didn’t look like Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King had much room to maneuver this offseason with his team over the salary cap.
Not so fast.
King pulled off a blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics, turning Humphries, Wallace, Brooks, Bogans and Joseph and three future first-round draft picks into Garnett, Pierce and Terry.
The Nets lacked leadership and toughness last season, a pair of attributes future Hall of Famers Garnett and Pierce bring to the table.
Brooklyn’s projected starting lineup -- Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Brook Lopez -- has a combined 45 All-Star Games under its belt. The Nets also have a deep bench, featuring the likes of Kirilenko, Terry, Livingston, Anderson, Blatche, Reggie Evans and Plumlee. King paid taxpayer mini mid-level money for Kirilenko, a versatile defender who has been a starter throughout his career.
Chemistry and health will be the team’s biggest concerns heading into the season, but the Nets have a ton of depth and talent. Billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov is projected to spend $189 million on this roster between player salaries ($102 million) and luxury taxes ($87 million).
The Nets basically have a two-year window to meet Prokhorov’s goal of winning a championship by 2015. It’s unknown if the Nets will be able to compete with the other upper-echelon teams in the Eastern Conference such as Miami, Indiana and Chicago, but they’ve certainly improved and will be a fun squad to watch. Long term, though, those future picks they gave up could come back to haunt them.
On the coaching front, the franchise’s decision to hire Kidd, who has never had any previous coaching experience, is a huge gamble. But the front office believes in the future Hall of Fame point guard, and figures veterans such as Williams and Garnett will buy in to what he’s selling.
Kidd’s basketball acumen and will to win as a player certainly were never questioned. He led the Nets to their greatest NBA heights during the early 2000s. Kidd will be surrounded by veteran coaches such as Frank and Welch, which should ease his transition.
Kidd ended up being integral in convincing Garnett to waive his no-trade clause and join the Nets. Given the talent he has to work with, Kidd’s most important role might be managing Garnett and Pierce’s minutes -- he’s already leaning toward not playing KG in both games of back-to-back sets -- and making sure they’re fresh for the playoffs. After all, how many games can a coach really lose for a team this talented?