Author Archives: nbascout

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

Avery Dismissed

From The Penthouse To The Unemployment Rolls: Who is Avery\’s Successor?


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

You could see it coming … a mile away. Despite the smiles and well wishes, ownership longed for results.

Avery Johnson had a year and a half and 176 games with which to distinguish himself as someone who could mold a basketball dynasty in the eyes of his superiors. He didn\’t.

Now some might argue he didn\’t have enough of a chance, but when you spend a third of a billion to get it right there is an expectation of results. Avery got his hand-picked GM in Billy King and a roster to his liking.*

Be careful what you wish for. Once you get it, there is little room for patience if the team falters and isn\’t consistently moving in the right direction.

That\’s what happened. The Nets ownership and braintrust ran out of patience. They didn\’t like what they saw and \’pulled the plug.\’

Now, a new coaching search ensues as interim Head Coach P.J. Carlesimo takes over. I have one name: Phil Jackson.

Let\’s see if Mike Prokhorov can bring it about. That, along with good karma, will bring results.

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 2012 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.

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

Litigation Takes Center Stage

Players Take The Court


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

As you may know by now, rejecting the owners latest offer, negotiations fell apart and the players took to the court today – not the hardwood – but the marble floors of the halls of justice. The union formally disbanded and the players brought actions in various jurisdictions to hear their grievance(s).*

Now whether this is a negotiating ploy or something that\’ll go to the mat, who knows? Much of it reminds of the NFL saga, yet I can\’t help but think of what became of the players in the NHL.

The only parties playing right now are the lawyers. If you want to watch professional basketball, you\’ll have to tune to the WNBA.

When it is over, the Nets should be well positioned to resume play. Only the basketball deities know for sure when that\’ll be.

In the meantime, the greatest shame is that, for the sake of the fan, the owners and players couldn\’t come together on this – their mutual interest in reaching agreement notwithstanding. It now becomes a high stakes legal battle between the owners, the players and their agents.

Which way will it go? Only time will tell and the skills of the respective counselors at law. The real battle now is in the courts of law – not on the hardwood!

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 Coach

JASON KIDD

By: NBASCOUT

It\’s official! Jason Kidd will be the new coach of the Brooklyn Nets. When it all came down to it, the Nets\’ braintrust settled on its former franchise leader in perennial all-Pro Point Guard Jason Kidd.

On its surface, this looks to be an attractive hire because of the Nets\’ history, marketing opportunities and presence that Jason Kidd brings to the team. At 40 years of age, he is young enough for a long run.

This is a choice that can work out well for the Nets. Especially if Jason Kidd brings the kind of dedication and spirit he brought to the team when he played. He is a natural born leader.*

A lot depends on who Jason surrounds himself with. Will he have a career like Phil Jackson? Now that is something to shoot for, but don\’t put any money on it just yet.

Unfortunately, it takes more than a stellar playing career and inspired leadership to win a title in the NBA. Just ask Larry Bird. It\’s even tougher to build a dynasty. Jason isn\’t going to get much on the job training as he must \’hit the ground running\’ winning big from the start with a team \’built to win yesterday.\’

Is he up to it? Yeah, he\’s game. Jason Kidd will run through a brick wall to compete and win! Will it be enough? Who knows! One thing is for sure. It will be entertaining.

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 2013 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.

What\’s Wrong With A Euro Big Man With Skills?

The Power Forward Dilemma


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

If last season\’s title run by the Dallas Mavericks proved anything, it is that you can surround one superstar with a strong supporting cast and still beat a team with three superstars, two arguably the best to ever play their positions.

What it means for New Jersey is that you can win with less if you know how to make it more. Put another way, the sum of the whole can be bigger than the sum of the parts.*

Everybody in the NBA is looking to create the best \”Big Three\” collection of superstars to win a title. Dallas had the best overall talent evenly distributed and one great superstar: Dirk Nowitzki.

Dallas\’ Coach, Rick Carlyle, also outcoached his opposition when it boiled right down to it, but the \”Big Two\” prevailed: Nowitizki & Co. It was a title series for the ages.

Now it seems that the Nets have been searching for a Power Forward replacement ever since they let Kenyon \”K-Mart\” Martin abscond to Denver in free agency. Now, granted, he was a great part of the Nets that made it to the finals and brought a certain swagger with him, but it was fortunate for the Nets that they let him depart before his knees eventually gave out.

That said, I\’ve often wondered if the Nets were punished for letting him go? Since, they\’ve not been able to put an all-Star PF at the 4.

If the Nets can pair up Brook Lopez (or Dwight Howard should it come to that) with a star PF via the draft, in-trade or else wise, then it will mark the first time they\’ve done that since K-Mart left.

These players are out there. Some are vintage veterans, some are emerging young players and others are all-Stars already or waiting to be drafted. All the Nets have to do is acquire one, sooner or later.

PF Kris Humphries is a solid double-double machine (nothing to sneeze at), but he isn\’t an all-Star yet. If he could extend his range like David Lee, maybe he has a chance, but the Nets need a Tim Duncan or Dirk Nowitzki type to pair alongside Brook (or Dwight) as the case may be!

If the Nets don\’t find one soon enough in order to keep Deron around, then I will suggest they put Owner/PF/C Mikhail Prokhorov at the position.

I know they\’ll get an honest effort. No one wants to win more and, of course, the wing positions will take care of themselves.

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 Coaching Dilemma

The Coaching Dilemma


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

With the actual draft looming and free agency on the horizon now that the lottery is over and done with, Nets President/GM Rod Thorn is in position to make the hard decisions about who should fill the coaching vacancy, whom to draft and what to do about free agents that may wish to join the team. While there are many imponderables and uncertainties to consider, such as, which coach some free agent might like to play for, I think you can\’t let that determine your decision.*

In the matter of a coach, I would say that if you can\’t get soon-to-be free agent and current Lakers Coach Phil Jackson, then go with former Dallas Mavericks Coach Avery Johnson.

Current Celtics Assistant Coach Tom Thibodeau is a very intriguing prospect as well and will make a fine head coach somewhere, but I think it is time to end the speculation and just bring in Avery.

He happens to be available now, is familiar with PG Devin Harris from his days in Dallas and because both the Lakers and Celtics are currently embroiled in a playoff run that seems headed towards a finals showdown, you won\’t be able to truly consider the alternative candidates until the season is over. So, as they say, \”bust a move.\”

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 Coaching Search

The Coaching Search


By: NBASCOUT / Special to netsinteractive.com

The coaching search continues in an orderly manner. Four to six candidates will be interviewed and the Nets will decide upon a new coach when, and if, they do.*

While it is clear that Avery Johnson, Tom Thibodeau, Jeff Van Gundy and Mike Brown are under consideration, there is a surprise candidate or two lurking and it is unclear who that is. Could that be Phil Jackson or Larry Brown? It does appear that the the uncertainties of free agent decisions also factor heavily into the equation in terms of timing and who might be chosen.

Outfits like Creative Artists Agency that represent the James, Wade and Bosh troika, seem to be hoping to implement the \’block blooking\’ technique prevalent in Hollywood that essentially requires an exhibitor to buy a package of movies for top dollar rather than a single blockbuster. In that manner, they may be seeking to force a team to buy two max-contract players, such as James and Bosh or James and Wade, for the privilege of getting the blockbuster superstar they actually want, such as only LeBron James.

The New York Knickerbockers along with the Nets can play that game. The question is, do they want to?

The further question is whether it\’ll lead to a championship or unmanageable payroll glut? Stay tuned!

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