The Lockout…and what it means for the Nets

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As you are probably aware, the NBA is the middle of a lockout and there does not appear to be any end in sight. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the issue, and you shouldn’t expect solutions on the leagues’ problems here. It is a subject that has been done to death by people much more qualified on the issue. What you can expect from this site is how everything relates to the Nets. Today I want to focus on a few people involved with the team, and how the lockout is impacting their futures.

The biggest issue facing the Nets in the lockout is one we already talked about, Deron Williams leaving for Turkey. Williams re-signing with the Nets is absolutely critical to making the Nets into a contender. He is a true franchise player, the type of player the type of player the Nets don’t usually get. A lost season prevents the Nets from showing why he should stay in New Jersey/Brooklyn and opens the door to his immediate departure.

Kris Humphries’s future with the Nets is also impacted by the lockout. Humphries was scheduled to be a free agent this summer, but will not be able to sign a contract as long as the lockout is in place. Both the Nets and Humphries expressed interest in staying together, but with the lockout neither side will have the opportunity to work towards an agreement. I would like for Humphries’s remain on the Nets, depending on the contract details. Fortunately for me, smaller contracts are likely to be a hallmark of whatever cap situation emerges from this mess of a work stoppage.

While all of the Nets draft picks are effected by the lockout, second round pick Jordan Williams faces more uncertainty than his fellow rookie Marshon Brooks. While I’ve expressed some doubt about his NBA ability, others are much more enamored by his ability. It’s understandable, the dude can rebound, but it may be moot point with the lockout. No NBA means no summer league, the biggest opportunity second round picks have to prove their worth. Without a summer league, Williams may not get a chance to show what he can do and will be forced to take his talents to Europe.

In spite of being a billionaire, the man who has the most to lose from this lockout is the big Russian himself, Mikhail Prokhorov. It’s hard to imagine him buying the Nets a little over a year ago and being complacent with a missed season in his second year. Prokhorov promised bring changes to this franchise and turn them into permanent contenders. A lost season would derail those plans. This is Prokhorov’s chance to become proactive in changes not only for the Nets, but the entire league. He is an NBA majority owner and absolutely has a say in the proceedings that will unfold in the coming months. Prokhorov can also work with his team to make sure that the Nets are in a good position once a deal is in place. There are a lot of questions, and Prokhorov can not wait around to have them answered for him. He needs to become more involved with the Nets and the league, or else his multimillion dollar investment in a basketball franchise may prove to be a bad one.