Author Archives: nbascout

Carmelo Anthony

Beggars Opera Redux


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

If the Summer of LeBron wasn\’t enough, the spectacle of new Nets Principal Owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, chasing Carmelo Anthony was. In what rational industry, except Hollywierd, are star performers chased?*

Of course Hollywood turns out its own string of flops too even with starring casts? Financial disaster often follows.

It is a credit to Mikhail that he finally came to his senses and pulled the plug on Melo talk? It was going nowhere but into an astronomical black hole.

The worst part was seeing an accomplished, refined business man, like Mikhail, reduced to begging and reaching ever higher and higher for a brass ring to land a prize he could never attain without Anthony\’s formal desire to join the Nets and the Nuggets willingness to set a firm price for his services that wasn\’t merely leverage they were using for some other deal with say, the Knicks, for example.

Acquiring star talent is a tricky business and at almost any price is a bad way to handle a team. If some thought that DeMarcus Cousins was high maintenance, what do they now think of Carmelo?

The Nets have so many assets that if used wisely they can grow their own stars rather than try to buy instant success while mortgaging their future. Sure, Anthony is a prolific scorer and would look nice in a Nets uniform.

BUT, if he wants to join the Nets, he can do so in free agency where I am sure that Mikhail will be very generous about bringing him aboard. At the same time, if he wants to go elsewhere, like to Madison Square Garden, Mr. Prokhorov has no control over this and is best served to build on what he has while keeping an eye out for other superior talents who may actually want to join his team in earnest.

Of course, if they do, they would be joining a much stronger team than the one Anthony would join if Denver had its way. So, who is the big loser here? A: Denver!

Denver will likely get no more than Cleveland had for LeBron. On February 23, a day before the trade deadline, Denver will come begging at Mr. Prokhorov\’s door for some kind of offer that would possibly salvage their future and save face for their management. Without Anthony\’s desire to hook up long-term with Jersey, that won\’t happen either.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2011 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Nets in 4-Team Deal

Nets Acquire Troy Murphy in 4-Team Trade


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

Indiana Pacers PF/C Troy Murphy, a New Jersey native, was acquired in a four-team deal Wednesday for swingman Courtney Lee. He is expected to fill the vacancy left by PF Yi Jianlian\’s departure until rookie PF Derrick Favors is ready to step up.*

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

The Nets Make Some More Moves

Farmar In The Fold


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

The Nets reached agreement with 23 year old Lakers back-up PG Jordan Farmar. Farmar has a lot of big game experience winning championships with the Lakers and going deep in the playoffs.*

Farmar also went to the finals in college. If any of that rubs off on the Nets, it\’ll be a good thing.

The signing of Farmar, Petro, Outlaw and Morrow (if the Warriors don\’t match) plugs a few holes for depth and shooting. The last gaping need is an experienced, starting quality power forward to play in front of Favors while he develops.

All of the top tier have been claimed and now you must look for the hidden gems or develop your own. As the season gets underway in what may be the post-Thorn era, better opportunities will likely present to shore up the position in trade.

Bosh, Stoudemire and Boozer are off the market. Tyrus Thomas is back with the Bobcats, the Rockets look like they\’ll put up a fight for Luis Scola and Udonis Haslem is being pursued aggressively by the Mavericks and may take less to remain with the Heat.

What\’s left? Ian Mahinmi, Oleksiy Pecherov and possibly Patrick O\’Bryant.

The Mavericks are pursuing former Spurs C/PF Mahinmi along with Haslem. I think the Nets can beat Dallas\’ $1.9M offer to Mahinmi and I could see the Nets offering more right away if they were interested.

I don\’t know what\’s wrong with PF/C Patrick O\’Bryant, but I hope that he realizes some of his promise coming out of college one day. Another way to go is for the Nets to flesh out their remaining roster slot with PF/C Connor Atchley (an undrafted rookie that impressed very much in Summer League).

UFA PF Shelden Williams, a Duke product, could be a possibility as well. The Nets could also play what they have starting Kris Humphries until Derrick Favors is ready to step in with someone like Atchley or Williams or Mahinmi (if the Nets are interested) as back-up or alternative starters.

Former Sixers GM Billy King is reportedly still in play as a replacement for Rod Thorn. Bobby Marks looks ready to assume the GM duties, but nothing is etched in stone.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Negotiations

Lockout Blues: Sobering Thoughts


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

If recent negotiation results are any indication, it could be a while before the lockout is resolved and the NBA gets going again in earnest. At issue is how to share the $4bil in revenue the league brings in each year and the nature and structure of any agreement to do so between the owners and players.*

So far, the parties are far apart on many things. Essentially, it seems the owners want a fairer split of business income (currently only 43%) and structuring of the contract leading to more viable businesses that can independently turn a profit on their own properly managed. Owners believe that players are uniformly in business to turn a profit from their careers and why shouldn\’t the owners be entitled to do the same from their franchises?

Players, for their part, prefer the status quo and don\’t care to roll back much of the enormous labor gains they\’ve achieved under successive contracts leading up to the last one that just expired. Would you? If anything, they\’d like to carve out further gains while conceding as little as possible.

Herein lays the \’rub.\’ How long will it take to reach agreement? The negotiators for all sides have to work out formulas that make sense to each side and hammer out an agreement each side can live with. They also have to work through the expectations both sides have that may need serious adjustment – if not painful compromise.

Until that happens, there will be no basketball. Given the differences and what I\’ve seen from negotiators so far, I, for one, believe it will be a longer process rather than a shorter one. Prove me wrong?!!

In the meantime, you may be able to watch some of your favorite stars play overseas for less. Does this mean part or all of the season is lost or canceled? Does this mean European players come to play in the US for more? What about Developmental League teams? Will they be the only basketball we can watch on TV? As revenue is lost and paychecks go unsigned, what is the fan to do?

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2011 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

New Prez/GM on Way?

Front Office Search Continues


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

The Nets are still searching for a President and/or General Manager as Rod Thorn is expected to step down on Friday according to reports. It\’s unclear whether the President and General Manager positions will be combined or VP Bobby Marks will be promoted and assume the GM duties.*

Mikhail Prokhorov, in New Jersey later this week after returning from the owners meeting in Las Vegas, may also back-up interview candidates for the position after Rod Thorn annoints a potential successor. Dan Ferry, the former Cavaliers GM, has now surfaced as a finalist along with Billy King, the former 76ers GM. Conflicting reports suggest that former Trailblazers GM Mike Pritchard may still be in the mix, but that isn\’t certain.

Of the three, I would probably hire Mike Pritchard, Dan Ferry and Billy King in that order if I were limited only to these candidates. Pritchard did a very creditable job in Portland transforming the wild \”Jailblazers\” into a playoff team albeit he took 7-footer Greg Oden at the top of one draft over Kevin Durant. In all fairness to Pritchard, though, Oden was the unanimous consensus number one pick that year and it was very hard for Mike, and most other personnel types, to see that one coming. Every GM has more than a few mistakes on his resume.

As for Dan Ferry, he\’s a nice guy. He\’s learned a lot over the years attempting to surround LeBron James with a supporting cast that\’d win a title. He got to the finals, but no cigar. He made too many impossible compromises to make LeBron happy and even that didn\’t work at keeping him around. He went through a lot of Dan Gilbert\’s money in the process. Maybe he has better luck in a major-market venue.

Billy King is a good fellow that was GM of the 76ers for nine years. He did some, if not quite a few, good things on his watch like hiring Larry Brown to coach the team and bringing in some nice talent to make that work. Still, some of the contracts he took on or engineered to reward players like Chris Weber and Samuel Dalembert made it hard to sustain ongoing success after the team peaked with a surprise finals appearance against the Lakers in 2001. There was a reason why Sixers management let him go to replace him with former Nets GM Ed Stefanski. Towards the end of his tenure, Billy went through three coaches that he hired and fired within a brief span of fifteen months trying to bettter his results. It reminds a little of the Isiah Thomas saga in New York and the Nets need stability and continuity.

Stay tuned as more emerges about this critical hire.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Draft Results

The Nets used a future 2nd round pick to move up two spots (from 27 to 25) in the first round in order to draft high-scoring, 6-5 Providence G Marshon Brooks. Maryland\’s 6-9 PF Jordan Williams was then taken with the Nets 36th pick of the second round. Afterwards it was announced that the Nets also sent an undisclosed amount of cash to Minnesota for the rights to Croatian SG Bojan Bogdanovic who was selected with the 31st pick overall of the second round by Miami.

The move for Bogdanovic was good. He\’s a European Kyle Singler (who intrigued).

Brooks has the potential to develop an overall game, but he may well be a boom or bust type of player. I think Billy saw some Alan Iverson and Tracy McGrady in him.

Billy King either hit a home run with Brooks or didn\’t. Only time will tell. On the other hand, Williams is a fundamentally sound, solid interior type of PF that may stick on the roster if he gets stronger and better conditioned. His interior play reminds a little of former Nets PF Buck Williams, but he is obviously a second round pick. Overall a solid draft with significant upside if it pans out.

Post-Draft UPDATE: If I had the 25th, 31st and 36th picks, for my money, I\’d probably have taken Jordan Hamilton, Kyle Singler and Jon Leur in that order. I\’ve been intrigued by Bojan Bogdanovic for a while and if I wanted him on the roster would have also picked him up with a late second round pick bought for cash to serve as a Eurostash .*

New GM In The Fold

Nets Get Their \”King\”


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

After a long search, 44 year-old former 76ers executive Billy King has been named to the post of General Manager of the New Jersey Nets.* An official introduction is pending.

One of the key factors driving the hire was the fact that the new GM is a good fit with new Coach Avery Johnson. Avery approved the hire with considerable weight given to his opinion.

Outgoing President and General Manager Rod Thorn will go through the motions as he steps down on Friday according to reports. Vice President Bobby Marks will continue as the GM\’s right hand with some form of a promotion.

My hunch that Mr. King would be the Nets GM led to my selection of his picture on my previous feature entitled \”New Prez/GM on Way?\” Billy is a \”class act\” on many levels and his professionalism and communication skills should serve him well as he seeks to embellish his resume in a second tour of duty running a basketball team.

Mikhail Prokhorov said as much in announcing his selection. Ironically, former Nets GM Ed Stefanski was hired by the 76ers to replace Mr. King and now the King comes to New Jersey.

Mr. Prokhorov, Rod Thorn, Avery Johnson and Bobby Marks all participated in making this hire according to reports. Citing the fact that he also wanted someone that was \”ambitious,\” perhaps Mr. Prokhorov felt that the Nets needed \’younger blood\’ in this critical position to boost the team\’s fortunes.

For his part, 69 year-old outgoing President and General Manager Rod Thorn has been nothing but spectacular during his tenure and it is hoped that he finds his next challenge soon as he is not one content to retire. He will be an asset to any organization. After losing both of his parents in what can only be called one of the most difficult years of his career, it was time for a change.

King joined the 76ers in 1997 and spent a total of 10 years with the team. He was elevated to the General Managership within a year and became President in 2003-2007.

The 76ers team under Billy King appeared in five consecutive playoffs (1999-2003). They also earned a Division Title and Conference Championship in 2000-01 enroute to the 2001 NBA Finals posting a 56-26 regular season mark.

Mr. King has many other distinguished credentials to his name, but serving as an Assistant Coach for the Indiana Pacers under Larry Brown is most significant for me. He learned that the game has to played the \”right way.\”

Since future Hall-of-Fame Coach Larry Brown mentored future Hall-of-Fame Coach Greg Popovich who in turn mentored Avery Johnson, I think that a nice philosophical convergence exists. This is the fit that has me excited about the future of the Nets.

The \”King\” didn\’t arrive in New Jersey. The Nets got the real King.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Nets Close Out Preseason With Loss

Season Set To Begin


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

The Nets closed out their preseason with a 107-92 loss to the Celtics. They have a week off before hosting the Detroit Pistons in their opener, next Wednesday.

The Nets stand to win somewhere between 30 and 50 games or so depending on player development and barring serious injury. This does not take into account any major personnel moves that may be in the offing now or as the season unfolds.*

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Anthony Morrow for Trade Exception + Protected 2nd Done

Where To Go From Here?


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

Anthony Morrow from the Warriors for a $4M Trade Exception and the Nets second round pick next year protected 31-55 is done. Unless the Nets finish among the top five teams next season, they won\’t have to ship over the second round pick.*

The Nets have done a pretty good job filling needs, plugging holes and adding depth for their bench, but the one glaring hole is the starting power forward position they unburdened themselves of when they moved Yi Jianlian to the Washington Wizards for cap space (and Quinton Ross) to better compete in the LeBron sweepstakes. At least he could spread the floor with outside shooting. Now that Bosh, Stoudemire, Boozer, Lee, Thomas and Haslem (re-upping with MIA) are off the market, what should the Nets do?

Well, for one, the Nets could simply play the talent they have and see how it goes. 6-10 PF Derrick Favors taken third in the draft is a man-sized 252lbs and should be able to adapt fairly quickly. If he can shoot from range, that\’ll solve a lot of problems.

It isn\’t as if Kevin Garnett didn\’t start playing when he was 19 and when the regular season begins Derrick Favors will be well into his 19th year. It\’s amazing how quickly kids grow up.

Of course, the Nets have veteran backup PF Kris Humphries still around, but they\’ll need at least one more Power Forward to man the post for depth in case Favors needs more time to develop. That player could be rookie Summer League PF Connor Atchely.

While RFA PF Luis Scola may be had in trade, it\’s likely the price may be too high. Similarly, the Nets could acquire Shelden Williams late of the Boston Celtics to take up some space when Favors can\’t, but Favors may be up to the challenge.

I, for one, am adamantly opposed to moving second year swingman Terrence Williams. This player has the hands and explosiveness of a young Vince Carter and some players you simply don\’t trade.

I would rather trade Courtney Lee and put Terrence Williams at the 2 than let him go for some power forward rental in order to get Favors ready, assuming, he isn\’t. There are plenty of low cost options to add depth wherein the Nets don\’t need to move this critical piece of the puzzle. New arrival Jordan Farmar is the other piece.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2010 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com

Deron Williams

Saving Face: Deron for Devin


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

The Nets finally pulled a page out of former President Rod Thorn\’s playbook and managed to snatch a measure of victory from the agony of defeat in the aftermath of the Melo-Drama (not to mention the LeBron-athon) while pulling off a transaction out of the blue for arguably one of the best point guards in the league in Deron Williams.*

The Nets essentially gave up two of their best first round draft picks – their own (in 2011) and the Golden State Warriors\’ (in 2012) – along with former (and possibly future) All-Star PG Devin Harris (who wasn\’t working out in NJ) and 19 year old wunderkind PF Derrick Favors (taken 3rd last June) among other things to make the deal work. The deal works if Deron stays beyond the expiry of his current contract.

It is, perhaps, only an incremental move in the immediate sense, but a hugely significant longer-term improvement to the team that promises to lay a cornerstone for a championship run if it keeps up. It is a credit to Mikhail and the Nets braintrust that they had the sense to keep an eye on Deron.

Persistence pays off and Deron wanted the opportunity others passed on.
Unfortunately, the losing may continue a while longer until Brook and Deron become more acclimated to one another. The Nets may also need to put another piece beside them.

NBASCOUT is an independent freelance sportswriter that covers the NBA and the New Jersey Nets. He is not affiliated with the National Basketball Association. Copyright 2011 by NBASCOUT, all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the express written consent of the author. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and not necessarily this website. You may e-mail NBASCOUT in care-of his wife, who writes for children, at kathyforkids@cs.com