The Brooklyn Nets are an 0-7 dumpster fire to start the season — they have the worst offense in the NBA and the fourth worst defense. While injuries (such as to Brook Lopez) are part of the issue, the reality is the bill has come due for the “win now at all costs” team that was assembled to help open the Barclays Center a couple of years ago. Brooklyn is finding the price very steep.
What is GM Billy King going to do about it?
Frankly, there’s not much he can do short term. However, he has started calling around in the early, exploratory phases about trades, reports Rod Boone of Newsday.
While there have been rumors about a coaching change because of the slow start, King said coach Lionel Hollins is safe, via Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.
Is Nets coach Lionel Hollins in jeopardy of losing his job with the team off to an 0-7 start? “Not right now, no,” GM Billy King said. “Shoot, I’m in the last year of my deal, too. And that’s why I think I said before it’s not just Lionel. We’re all in this together.”
That it is the last year of Kings’ deal has led to some buzz around the league he could be in trouble, too. However, the hole the Nets are in can be traced directly back to ownership — Mikhail Prokhorov wanted to spend now and buy a contender. The NBA doesn’t work like that anymore. The price tag for aging veterans that got the team to the second round of the playoffs has been the Nets have a mismatched roster and without control their own first round draft pick until 2019. King openly admitted the bill is now due.
“I’m not sitting in here shirking accountability. … It stops at me. I’m the GM. You make decisions along the way, and it’s my job now to figure it out and turn it around. … It doesn’t happen overnight. We knew when we traded (the first-round) picks and went down this road (for Deron Williams, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce) that if it doesn’t go well you have to dig yourself out of it, and that’s what we’re doing now.”
King did a good job clearing cap space that they can spend the next couple summers, but a foundation needs to be built before a serious, cornerstone kind of free agent will even seriously consider Brooklyn. Bottom line Nets fans, it’s going to be a long few years.