The result of miscalcuations
With new owner Mikhail Prokhorov ready to spend and respected coach Avery Johnson at the helm, the team was set to make big moves. Instead, they tripped and fell on their face.
The key signings that offseason were a sort of unholy triumvirate made up of Johan Petro, Jordan Farmar and Travis Outlaw. Anthony Morrow was also added via a trade with the Golden State Warriors and introduced with the other three.
Sir Charles In Charge
However, he was actually a fan favorite and had the most success of the four players.
According to Bobby Marks, this time on the Woj Podcast in July, it could have been worse. Supposedly the Nets were also set to give Tyrus Thomas a big long-term contract before the Charlotte Bobcats re-signed him.
Thomas fizzled out during his time with the Bobcats and was released three years into his five-year contract.
The Nets also dealt young wing Courtney Lee in a three-way trade for Troy Murphy, who was sent to the Warriors a couple of months later. These players themselves were good complementary players who were able to carve out niches in the league.
The only problem was that they were not the “stars” that the Nets needed.
Billy King, on The Glue Guys Podcast, said that his sales pitch to Prokhorov and his constituency was to:
"“Get someone that could be an anchor, so that we could build with, because I think you can build with those one of guys.”"
However, with his contract set to expire before the big move to Brooklyn, King had to find a way to keep Williams interested in the team.
At first, Howard was the main target, but after breaking the hearts of the Nets faithful by exercising his player option and staying with the Magic after requesting to be traded to the Nets.
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Appeasement was the M.O. for the entire tenure of Billy King as the Nets shotcaller.
The pressure was all around: Prokhorov having championship aspirations, a need to drum up excitement for their big move to Brooklyn, disgruntled fans desperate for a watchable display of basketball on the court, star players wanting reasons to stay.
Prokhorov’s promise of punishing himself with marriage if the team hadn’t won a championship within five years of his takeover may have been a joke, but the front office no doubt felt the pressure.
Over the next two years, the Brooklyn Nets began to clear most of their assets — draft picks as well as young talent — for some superstar talent in the form of Joe Johnson and an aged Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.
The summer of 2010 did change the Nets. It made the team more desperate to make a splash than anything. It did spark the interest that Prokhorov’s experiment in money management wanted.
But just like the mad scientists on TV, it blew up in their faces and they had to start from scratch all over again.