The Brooklyn Nets are 9-17 and just lost their best player for the season due to a fourth foot injury in three years. It could be time for the Nets to just head on home and blow this whole thing (their roster) up.
If they don’t want to blow up this project, they at least need to address the gaping hole that the loss of Brook Lopez is going to create in their lineup – 20 points and six rebounds per game isn’t going to replace itself.
And Nets GM Billy King isn’t exactly going out of his way looking for a trade partner and/or candidates to address the issue.
“If there’s a deal out there that we feel is going to make us a better team, we’ll do it regardless of tax or the future, but we’re not going to panic and do a move just to make a move because we feel we have to,” King said Sunday. “I still believe in this group. Brook’s a big part of it, but we do have other guys, that’s why we have depth.”
King also said that he does not plan on being a “seller” at the trade deadline. At least, not at this time.
The Nets are in the process of applying to the NBA for a disabled player exception. They have until Jan. 15 to do so.
The ruling would help them acquire one player via free agency or trade to replace Lopez.
“Every team that has a big guy on the sideline calls to offer their services, but we had been in discussions with a lot of teams up to this point,” King said. “There’s not an imminent move, we’re not looking to make any imminent move trade-wise. We’ve got 14 other guys that can step up, but we’ll continue to discuss possibilities if it can make our team better.”
The Nets need to make up their minds. They can either move along and play the season out, probably sneak into the playoffs and earn a first or second round exit, or they can become “sellers” and blow this thing up and start over. Completely.
There’s nothing wrong with admitted that you made a few missteps here and there. It’s a bigger mistake not acknowledging it and acting like everything is fine and dandy, when it isn’t.
The Nets have no chance to create salary-cap room until 2016 – without facilitating trades – and have no first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018. It’ll be nearly impossible for Brooklyn to re-build this roster. The most sensible move right now is probably to trade their only moveable contract on their roster – Paul Pierce. Not because it’ll create cap space, but because the Nets would be able to get assets in exchange, you’d think. Pierce is in the final year of his deal and a contending team would be more than willing to take a chance on him – most likely.
But like I said, the Nets would be basically admitting that they made a mistake if they do in fact decide to trade Pierce. They’d be throwing away their “shot” at making a playoff run and would be essentially throwing the season away. It’d also probably make Kevin Garnett angry, which at this point, he probably already is.
Yes, the Nets do have a “good” core in Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, but other than those two, it just feels like they have a bunch of players on their last wheels.
It may just be time to bite the bullet and look towards the future in Brooklyn. The Championship window has closed and, perhaps, there never was one.