Billy King is working to try and rebuild franchise that last season flirted with historic futility. That is not planting a tree in the backyard work, that is building the Panama Canal work (just with a smaller chance of catching malaria). The Nets need a lot of things.
But New Jersey GM King has new, driven ownership behind him flush with cash. He has the green light and is going to shake things up, likely more than once. The Nets have been rumored to be in the middle of the biggest potential trade in the league this season. So what King told the Star-Ledger is not exactly a shock.
“We’ll probably do some deals before the deadline, I’m pretty sure,” King said. “When you have your record like we are, you’ve got to do some things to get better.”
So when Mikhail Prokhorov promised the playoffs 6-18 on a seven game losing streak was not what he had in mind?
The problem with Prokhorov’s boast is that the short-term goal of making the playoffs could well differ from building a winner long term. And the real goal needs to be a team that contends in three years or so. Good young players need to be given a chance to learn on the job — not good for winning now, exactly how you win down the line.
King, to his credit, seems to get this. Based on his words, he’s not getting sucked in for short-term gain, he’s got his eyes on the prize. And that prize is in Brooklyn.
But actions speak louder than words. We shall see.
Gordon Hayward dunks on Giannis Antetokounmpo, Thon Maker (videos)
The Lakers took on the salary of Jose Calderon this year so they could get a couple second-round picks from the Bulls (Chicago got him from New York in the Derrick Rose trade), but even with the previous regime in Los Angeles the aging point guard was never part of the future.
Sources told ESPN that it’s not yet a certainty Calderon will secure his release from the Lakers in the coming days, but the sides are indeed discussing the options as Wednesday’s playoff eligibility deadline nears….
Sources say that Calderon, if he winds up hitting the open market, would instantly become a target for both the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets.
Cleveland may also have interest if their plan to land Deron Williams when he is bought out by Dallas goes awry.
Calderon, 35, was not part of the Lakers’ regular rotation, playing in just 24 games. He can still knock down a shot if he has space and can set his feet, and he still has a high hoops IQ and can see the floor, but his athleticism has faded, and that can leave him exposed. Particularly on defense.
Players are being waived now so they clear in time for teams to sign them by March 1, after that said players are not eligible for playoff rosters.
There are better players to hit the waiver wire in the coming days — D-Will, Andrew Bogut, Matt Barnes — but Calderon is going to land somewhere. He’d be a solid third point guard and veteran presence for a playoff run.
Marquese Chriss blocks Bobby Portis, who gets testy (video)
The time off during the All-Star break did Dwyane Wade some good.
The Bulls guard turned back the clock on Friday night, leading the Bulls with 23 points and topping it off with this dunk that proved to be the dagger, sealing a Chicago win. The Suns were convinced Wade was going to run the shot clock way down before making his move and they lollygagged into position — so he just blew past everyone for the poster slam.