Burning Brooklyn Bridges: What the Nets Need to Do Now
The Nets are in turmoil. Their talented rookie is hurt, their starting point guard is out for the season, and they just fired their head coach and general manager. What’s worse, they don’t control their draft picks until 2019.
So what now? How can the Nets control the situation and prepare for the future? What can they do to speed up the rebuilding process? Here’s my list of things the Nets need to do before the start of the 2016-2017 season.
Do Not Make a Silly Trade!
*Photo via NYPost
A lot of experts think the Nets should seek trades for Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young before the trade deadline. By trading those two, the Nets could get a draft pick (or two) back. But here’s why I think that’s a bad idea.
For one, any team that would want those two and would be willing to give up a draft pick(s) are going to be title contenders. That means that they would have a late first-round pick in the upcoming draft. To me, that’s not worth giving up your two best players for. Again, the Nets don’t have control over their draft picks until 2019, so getting a late 2016 pick isn’t going to help the team much out at all.
Also, the one thing the Nets have going for them right now is their cap space and their bigs. If they want to land a big free agent (and yes, I’m including Durant in this), they will need to be able to sell the idea of playing alongside Lopez and Young. If you trade them away, there will nothing on the roster that would make any free agent, let alone a superstar, want to play for the Nets.
For me personally, I think Durant on the Nets gives them the best front court in the Eastern Conference, second maybe only to Cleveland. Durant’s presence would make Lopez and Young that much more efficient and effective. Also, if you land a Durant, they should be able to sign any point guard and/or shooting guard on the market, improving their guard problems next year as well. Whoever is the new GM will have to sell this over the summer.
Have a Solid Plan!
*Photo via Getty Images
In order to get any free agents, the Nets need to land a great coach and general manager. In order to do that, the Nets will need something that they clearly have not had since they moved to Brooklyn: a plan!
The reason why the Nets got rid of Hollins and King so early in the season is so that they could take the time to think of how they want to move forward in the future. What’s the plan for the team? What’s going to be the team’s identity? Whoever takes over as general manager and coach will have to be able to answer those questions, adhere to the owner’s new game plan, or be able to have the power to put their imprint on the team.
Rumors are already swirling on who the new coach will be, with names ranging from John Calipari and Marc Jackson, to Jeff Van Gundy and Luke Walton. Who ever the new coach is, his system and personality is going to have to be something that can lure big free agents to New York. Last summer, players proved to the league that big markets are no longer the main luring point, and that teams with no viable plans for the future will not get the services of the NBA’s elite talent. Let’s hope the Nets took notice and are making their notes as we speak.
Do Not Mortgage Any More of the Future!
*Photo via Netsdaily
The Nets are in this mess because Mikhail Prokhorov’s plan to win a championship in five years overshadowed the need to prepare for the future. With no draft picks for the next five years, the Nets only hope to get better will be through free agency and trades. But the Nets need to learn from their past sins. They shouldn’t make any deal that will jeopardize any more draft picks in the future.
The team swung for the fences in hopes for a championship. As a Nets fan, I appreciated that. Unfortunately, when you take big swings like that, you can miss and strike out. If they plan to take big swings again, they need to make sure that the consequences aren’t as drastic if they miss this time. There’s nothing wrong with trying to win now, but not if you handicap your ability to win AT ALL in the future in the process.
If the Nets exercise some patience and don’t try to reconcile their mistakes in one summer, then they should be fine. A lot of people are making a big deal about the lack of draft picks, and it is a huge problem. However, big time free agents like a Durant or Westbrook won’t care about that, for they would be signing with a team in a “win now” mode anyway. It’s the reason why Cleveland was willing to trade away top prospect Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love, even though in a few years, Wiggins might be the better player.
If they can get a great coach, creative general manager, and can convince free agents to sign up to play with Lopez and Young, the Nets should be right back in the playoff hunt in a year or two. Until then, it will be a long rest of the season for the Nets. But the future is still a little brighter than people give them credit for.