Starting Five: Did Nets make big mistake?

December, 6, 2013
12/06/13
9:00
AM ET
In theory, it all made sense.

The Brooklyn Nets were trying to infiltrate the New York market, where anyone who’s anyone likes the New York Knicks. They figured, with a billionaire owner and a $1 billion arena, they could make several splashes, acquire star talent and compete immediately.

Maybe they wouldn’t win a championship. Maybe they would. Either way, they were going to be in the conversation.

They were trying to build a fan base and generate revenue. The future was just that -- the future. The time to win is, and always seems to be, now. And Mikhail Prokhorov has endless pockets.

Perfect, right?

It all started a couple years ago, when general manager Billy King acquired Deron Williams in a blockbuster trade that stunned everyone. King relinquished several assets in the deal, but the Nets had been without a superstar, and now they had one. And everyone knows superstars win you titles.

King tried to get Dwight Howard, but Howard screwed that up. He also pursued Carmelo Anthony before Williams, but it never worked out.

King ultimately made several controversial deals of the same nature, acquiring Gerald Wallace, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. In came the big names. Out when the first-round draft picks.

The analysis was all the same: If it works, King looks like a genius. If it doesn’t, well, you know.

So here we are, in the present, and the Nets are a $190 million mess.

Maybe they can turn it around. But if what they’ve shown so far is any indication, they won’t.

As Mark Cuban said, the Nets are stuck. Their future firsts -- or the right to swap them -- belong to other teams through 2018. They have a nice building block in Brook Lopez and a solid rookie big in Mason Plumlee, but little else on the young asset front. There is also Euro-stash Bojan Bogdanovic.

Salary cap-wise, the Nets won’t be out from many of their commitments until the summer of 2016.

Still, they did go for it. And in theory, it all made sense. It just hasn’t worked out.

Question: Do you think the Nets can turn it around? How would you fix this mess?

In case you missed it: The Nets were blown out by the Knicks on Thursday. Deron Williams is likely to return to the lineup Tuesday. Kevin Garnett doesn’t understand Italian. And Ian O’Connor ripped Jason Kidd.

Stat of the day: The Nets have been outscored by 102 points in the third quarters of games so far this season.

Up next: The Nets are off Friday. On Saturday, they play the Milwaukee Bucks on the road.

Mike Mazzeo

ESPN New York Writer

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Brook Lopez
PTS AST STL MIN
16.4 0.6 0.5 28.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsB. Lopez 7.0
AssistsD. Williams 6.3
StealsT. Young 1.3
BlocksB. Lopez 1.7