Archive for the ‘New Jersey Nets’ Category

Since that is probably the greatest headline you are going to read today — mostly because this one happened last week — let’s just get straight to things and let Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov wow you with some very Russian billionaire-y quotage. From the New York Daily News:

Thoughts on keeping Deron Williams? Excuse me, I didn’t catch the question. … Is it no NBA rules that prohibit to comment on the potential interest. So please wait until the summer. I’ll tell you all the details. For the time being, it’s top secret for us. [...]

It’s not against rules to discuss D-Will, because he’s under contract w/ your team. So I was wondering if you could elaborate on any convos you may have had with him, and whether or not you believe he’ll be perceptive to your powers of persuasion? I missed the name of the player.

Deron Williams? OK. [laughs] We met yesterday, we have I think a very good discussion. He really wants to win, and I want to win maybe even more. And we have just — and really, I won’t go into details, but I think this stage we are on the same page.

How confident are you that you can keep Deron and sign him to a max extension? I think he wants to win and he wants to be part of a great franchise, so we have the same view of this, and I can’t comment more. Just, it’s better to ask him what was the rest of our conversation. I mean what I’ve already mentioned. [...]

About Deron Williams, are you worried about Mark Cuban? Let the best man win. If he wins, I’ll crush him in the kickboxing throwdown.

Is this or is this not the greatest free agent recruiting pitch of all-time? You can keep Daryl Morey and his iPads, Dan Gilbert and his cartoons and nonsense like that. I will gladly take a Russian billionaire acting completely like a Russian billionaire. “We have some ideas, plus I can beat up anyone,” is basically the entire pitch. It’s a sure-fire thing.

The best part, obviously, is that we all know Deron Williams wants to leave the Nets. Therefore, henceforth and ipso facto, Mikhail Prokhorov and Mark Cuban are kickboxing each other this summer. Since his demise has already been guaranteed, he might as well just broadcast it on HDNet to make some cash. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ll subscribe just to be able to watch this happen.

I don’t know why you have to compare and choose betwixt these two bizarre pictures of NBA players hanging out in their civvies, but you do. It just feels right. When two pictures of NBA players just chillin’ in their intimates hit the internet in the same week, it’s only natural to decide which one is more bizarre.

The natural inclination here is to immediately choose Kris Humphries as the weirder picture. It’s part of an artsy magazine spread, there’s an M-16 lying on the ground for no reason, his face is painted like Aladdin Sane, he’s spread eagle wearing just briefs and boots — the reasons for choosing this photo are obvious. If you pick this one as the weirder one, that makes a lot of sense.

But please consider this Dwyane Wade and LeBron James photo as well. It’s not as strikingly odd, but then you realize they’re being best buddies hanging out in some sort of therapeutic pool in just their spandex while playing with their phones. Do you realize how risky that is? I’m not necessarily worried they’re going to be electrocuted, but who knows if they’ve backed up their devices recently. They’re this close to losing two of the most valuable address books in the world. Be careful, guys.

So let’s hear it in the comments — which photo is weirder? I have a feeling I know which way the vote is going to go but it’ll still be interesting to see the results.

Even though he only owns 1.47 percent of the Nets, Jay-Z’s ownership of the team gets brought up all the time. Whether it’s when recruiting free agents, how they’re going to supposedly take over Brooklyn or what the team’s new jerseys (pun) are going to look like, it’s all about Jay.

I guess that’s what happens when one of the most famous people in the world owns even the most insignificant portion of a sports team. I mean, you never hear people say “Oh, I bet the Cavs sign Deron Williams because his favorite song is Usher’s ‘You Make Me Wanna’” because no one really cares about Usher until he makes another hot Spring Break song. However, that insignificant portion of the Nets that Jay-Z owns does come in handy for rappers. Whether it’s Jay saying the Nets being terrible is no sweat off his back or mentioning how he’s taking the team to Brooklyn, there’s a bit of a history there.

Similarly, there’s a bit of history between Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, who were rumored to be dating in 2010 according to the stack of tattered US Weeklys sitting on my coffee table. You combine those two histories and you get this zinger from West’s newest track, “Theraflu,” as transcribed by Andy Hutchins:

And I’ll admit, I fell in love with Kim (Hunh?)
‘Round the same time she had fell in love wit’ him (Whuh)
Well, that’s cool, baby girl, do ya thing
Lucky I ain’t have Jay drop ‘im from the team (Whuh)

Classic Kanye overshare, right here. The guy just can’t help telling you every little detail of his life, even if it means admitting that Kim Kardashian basically chose a middle-of-the-road basketball player over him.

And even though Kanye obviously doesn’t understand the management structure of the Nets, it’s a good thing he didn’t tell Jay-Z to cut Kris Humphries last year. As I’m sure you know, Humphries enjoyed his best season ever last year, averaging a double-double while finishing second on the team in PER and getting an excellent Sixth Man of the Year campaign video. I have a feeling that even if he could do it, Jay-Z would be smart enough to know that cutting a great rebounder/garbageman who’s only made $3.2 million on the season wouldn’t be a good move. After all, he’s a business, man. He knows these value when he sees it.

But hey, Kris Humphries is a Kanye West punchline now. Between this and marrying a Kardashian, even if it was only for 12 minutes, I think he’s really made it. Most hated player in the NBA is still an accomplishment.

Hey, do you want to know the least surprising news in the world? Deron Williams is going to become a free agent this summer, rather than picking up his 2012-13 option with the New Jersey Nets.

Aren’t you shocked? No? Not at all? I didn’t think so.

But if you were the least bit curious if he had any plans to stick around for the move to Brooklyn, maybe this will change your mind. From Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears:

“People get traded all the time,” Williams told Yahoo! Sports. “They don’t get backlash as an organization. If [players] leave, we are not loyal, we are ungrateful. People say stuff to me on Twitter. They already think I’m gone. They are out there bashing me, saying to me I’m a traitor.

“I didn’t ask to be here. I got traded. I didn’t come here being a free agent. This is the first time that I’m a free agent in my career.”

And this, when asked if Dwight Howard coming to New Jersey would have changed his mind about staying with the Nets.

“Oh yeah, it definitely would have changed things. I’ve already made it known that if he would have come I probably would have stayed.”

So other than the fact that Deron Williams is now on record as saying he didn’t ask to be in New Jersey, that he considers himself a free agent when there is still technically a way he could re-up with the Nets, that he is going to be giving up money to test the market, and that a Dwight Howard trade would have “changed things” and made him want to stay, things look pretty good for the Nets. I mean, they only traded Derrick Favors, the pick that became Enes Kanter and the Warriors’ first round pick this year as long as it’s not in the top seven for a (shortened) season and a half of Deron Williams, then compounded things by trading expiring contracts and ANOTHER first round pick this year for Gerald Wallace, who could opt out at the end of this season. That’s just four lottery picks in exchange for 94 guaranteed games* from Williams and Wallace. No big deal. Excellent rebuilding strategy.

As Deeks said at the trade deadline, the Gerald Wallace trade was about keeping Deron Williams around — probably why Williams calls himself the Nets’ “assistant GM” — in the hopes that they could convince Dwight Howard to come to Brooklyn when he is actually ready to leave the Magic. But if Deron leaves, like Deeks said, the Nets have nothing — no elite players, no assets and no plan for getting better any time soon. And since it sure seems like Deron is headed out that door, that worst case scenario is looking mighty likely.

Fun time to be a Nets fan.

*Williams’ games last year + Williams’ games this year + Wallace’s games this year + (Remaining Nets games x 2) = 94 games, assuming Wallace declines his player option for next season

As you know, Nene was traded to the Washington Wizards yesterday, possibly as punishments for his past transgressions. Whatever the reason — more likely that he is 30 years old and will be making a lot of money for a long time, despite the fact he often misses significant time due to various injuries — Nene is leaving the only team that he has ever known.

Plus, he’s leaving George Karl, a coach he’s been with since his third year in the league, and a coach who supported Nene through his cancer treatments and then forged a bond with the Brazilian big man while suffering through his own rehabilitation. As you’d imagine, Karl’s pretty bummed out about the trade. From the AP:

“Anytime you trade a guy that’s been with me since I’ve been here, and we have a personal connection because of our situations with cancer, it’s very difficult,” Nuggets coach George Karl said. “I hope to be friends with Nene for a long, long time after basketball.”

Well, this is about the sweetest thing you’ll ever hear in the NBA. I’m usually Constable Jerky Von Jerkjokes, but even I think this is heartwarming. I really, really want Nene and George Karl to stay friends now, which is something I didn’t ever really consider before yesterday. I hope they’re best friends forever and that is not sarcasm at all.

The NBA is a business and we all know that and mention it all the time whenever a trade goes down, but sometimes things like this happens and you’re like, “Why does the NBA have to be such a business all the time?” Can’t we just figure out a way to get these guys back on the same team so that they can continue being bros? I’m not demanding anything, but now might be a nice time for David Stern to hit the rescind button.

The biggest deal of deadline day thus far sees the New Jersey Nets trade Mehmet Okur, his expiring $10.89 million salary, Shawne Williams, his not-expiring $3 million salary, and a 2012 first round pick to Portland, in exchange for Gerald Wallace.

Wallace, a one time All-Star and long-time quality player, averages nearly 13 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists on the year, in addition to quality, versatile defense. He dramatically improves New Jersey’s weakest position, small forward, where a whole host of players have been rotated through. After deciding Stephen Graham probably wasn’t the answer, the Nets turned to Damion James. When he got hurt, Keith Bogans, Larry Owens, Andre Emmett, Gerald Green and Dennis Horner all took turns. The longest runs have been given to Williams and DeShawn Stevenson, who are shooting 29 percent and 25 percent from the field respectively. Given that they had absolutely nothing at that position, and traded absolutely no production to get it, getting a fringe All-Star is a significant upgrade to the collective nothing that went before.

But let’s not lose sight of the issue. In spite of how good he is, and how bad D-Steve has been, New Jersey are not really trading for Gerald Wallace. They are really trading for Deron Williams, again.

And inevitably, it’s all for Dwight Howard.

The entire plan, the whole thing, the whole shaboodle, everything the Nets have thrown away the last two years for, is based around Dwight. Prokhorov didn’t buy the team to get Dwight, the team isn’t moving to Brooklyn because of Dwight and they didn’t trade their only semblance of a long term plan for Deron because, at the time, they expected to get Dwight. But it did become the expectation, and it did become the plan.

It became a very good plan, too. The future looked good. Deron Williams, the impressive rookie MarShon Brooks, the probably impressive rookie Harrison Barnes, Kris Humphries, Dwight. That’s some front five. New city, new arena, new fan base, plenty of money in reserve, Jay-Z adding some luster. No depth, but that doesn’t matter. That was the plan. It was beautiful. And when Howard declined a move to the Chicago Bulls, the best team in the league, because Derrick Rose was too famous or the weather was too windy or whatever the hell reason he used, the Nets’ plan looked almost consummated. You don’t disregard Chicago and consider joining the Nets unless you really, really want to join the Nets. Up until this week, it was all-consuming.

But it didn’t work. Dwight opted in. It seems now that he didn’t really, really want to join the Nets after all.

Not yet, at least. The pipe dream still exists. Dwight didn’t sign an extension with Orlando, commit his adult life to them, or declare an undying love that would only have looked facetious by this time; instead, he merely opted in. He opted in for only one year. In 12 months time, therefore, it is more than likely to be the case that Howard — who has trolled the entire NBA media and tormented his own team’s fans for a whole year — is going to be doing it all again. And so what is a stay of execution for Orlando is essentially an adjournment for New Jersey. The plan is still to get Dwight. By this time, it rather has to be.

However, in the time in between the two, one big variable exists. While Dwight Howard opted in, Deron Williams didn’t. The whole Dwight plan was, and is, dependent upon Deron. Concurrently, keeping Deron was, and is, dependent on getting Dwight.

New Jersey knows Dwight only joins them if Deron Williams is here. It’s why they traded for him in the first place. And it’s still the case. This year, they didn’t get Dwight, even with Deron. Now, to get Dwight next year, they need to keep Deron.

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Ever since his divorce from Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries has really been thinking about a lot of things. Physics, metaphysics, colors, the meaning of colors and things of this nature. How else to explain this response when asked about waiving his no-trade clause. From the Newark Star-Ledger:

“Would you jump off a bridge?” Humphries asked reporters who inquired about his willingness to waive the no-trade. “It depends how high the water is (or) if there was a drowning baby in the water. I mean, because you (might) jump off in the summer, if it was warm out, (and) you know the water was deep underneath.

“It’s all circumstantial, is the point I’m trying to make,” he said.

I think we can all agree that this issue needed to be addressed and that it only could be addressed one way and that this is the only possible way that it could be addressed. I mean, if you can’t clear up confusion about whether or not you’d waive your no-trade clause by referencing how you’d save a drowning baby if it was warm out, then how are you supposed to clear up that confusion? Exactly.

This is literally the only logical explanation for this situation and I think we can all agree Kris Humphries totally nailed it. It’s all circumstantial and that is the point that he very clearly and not at all weirdly made.

(via BDL)