The Brooklyn Nets’ season may very well extend past the regular season, as the team is currently sitting at the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, however for the team with the highest payroll in the NBA, that is simply not good enough. It is never too early to look towards the offseason.The Nets never seem to have a quiet offseason with Mikhail Prokhorov at the helm, and with recent news emerging that the Russian will not sell his stake in the team, funds will not be an issue for the Nets this offseason. These are the top three tasks Brooklyn must complete this offseason.
Fire Billy King
My patience has run out with Billy King, he has had his bright spots during his tenure in the organization but those are clouded by so many dark ones. These include handicapping the Nets future entirely for three players who were all gone within a season and a half (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry), and trading for an aging shooting guard who is one of the most overpaid players in the NBA (Joe Johnson).
It is time to bring in a General Manager who doesn’t live one day at a time, instead looking towards the future of the organization, including things like draft picks and money. I want a GM who makes smart choices in the draft and signs upcoming talent who have the ability to make Brooklyn a tough gritty team, not just a group of guys who wear the same jersey.
To really make sure this offseason is a success, King needs to go.
Retain Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez has picked up his play in the Nets’ playoff push, and because of this reports have come out that Lopez is expected to opt out of his $16.7 million option for next year.
In the month of April, Lopez is averaging 23.8 ppg, 9.7 rpg and 1.8 bpg and is looking like one of the best big men in the game along with a necessity to the Nets. Injuries have been a problem for Lopez thus far in his career, but no one can doubt how good of a player he is when he is on the court. These injury issues will likely scare off a lot of teams who would normally look to sign the Stanford product which is good for the Nets.
The Nets cannot overpay Lopez, he should not be making $20+ million annually, but if the Nets were able to sign him to a new deal around the same price as his current contract, they should jump at the chance.
Retain Thaddeus Young
Similar to Lopez, Thaddeus Young has the ability to opt out of his contract and no one is entirely sure if he will be opting out of a deal that will offer him $9.7 million next season. My personal opinion is that he is opting out, to secure a long-term contract.
If that is the case, the Nets need to jump on that and sign Young.
It is simple, Young makes the team play better and there is no doubt that the Nets need to do all they can do to retain him.
With Mason Plumlee not improving on his strong rookie season, Young should still be a steady presence in Brooklyn and the organization should not be afraid to commit to him for 3-4 years.
If Brooklyn is able to accomplish all three of these tasks the offseason will be a bona-fide success. However, the Nets must do much more if they want a shot at homecourt advantage next season, and low-risk, inexpensive free agent signings along with drafting smart in the first round will create a stronger team next year.