Thursday, February 24, 2011

N.J. NETS~Prokhorov Strikes Back; Acquire Deron Williams

New Jersey Nets:  Wednesday's Trade Is A Reminder For James Dolan That Mikhail Prokhorov Means Business.

Finally, something went their way.

After losing out on the weekend auction for Carmelo Anthony to the N.Y. Knicks, the New Jersey Nets finally made a high impact strike of their own; if not their first in the Prokhorov Era.   The Nets traded Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, and two first round draft picks (and cash) to the Utah Jazz for the very talented Deron Williams, who is arguably the most touted point guard in the League today.  And they did it on the day Carmelo Anthony would make his N.Y. Knick debut stealing back a little bit of local thunder.

The hope for the Nets here is that they can sign Deron Williams to an extension and prevent him from walking away when his current contract expires after next season.  In fact, he's in a similar situation 'Melo was if he becomes a free agent, in that it may not be as lucrative for him than perhaps signing an extension before the CBA expires would be.  If they can manage to retain him in a Nets uniform as they make their way to Brooklyn, having him and perhaps complimenting him with other acquisitions between now and the move, will set the team up nicely for a successful Inaugural Season at Barclays Arena.  They may have been losing the battle of public perception to the Knicks lately, but they still have much Cap flexibility that is yet to be fully utilized.  They still have draft picks to spare even after this trade, as they've been accumulating a few along the way.  Although for a big man, his lack of rebounding is a little befuddling, but Brook Lopez has still proven himself to be a legit scorer.  So, my point is, besides some minor setbacks, patience is still not a bad tact to take as the team and Mr. Prokhorov move forward. 

Then there is always the worry Deron Williams and Coach Avery will get along.  To say this trading of Williams by the Jazz caught everyone by surprise is an understatement.  But it comes on the heals of an escalating situation between Deron Williams and Coach Jerry Sloan, one that prompted Coach Sloan to hastily quit his position and retire from the Jazz.  Conspiracy theorists are having fun with that one, but the Jazz would have been in the same boat with Deron Williams as the Cavs were with LeBron and the Nuggets with 'Melo, which was watching them walk away or try and get something in return.  The Jazz chose to act early rather than too late.

Another hope for the Nets is this might finally trigger a string of better luck for Mikhail Prokhorov.  He's been the butt of some jokes in the papers lately, but I think that's just the hometown Knick-centric media talking.  But there is no denying Mr. Prokhorov can use a few more better days than he's been enjoying so far as Owner of the Nets.

I can't say I've ever really warmed up to GM Billy King, as I think Rod Thorn should still be with this organization were it not for a lack of communication on every-one's part in the Front Office.  But this trade is to be applauded.  And when the Nets absolutely needed a deal like this to get done sometime in the immediate future, he got one done while no one saw it coming.

The Nets are okay.  James Dolan made his moves.  Now it's the Nets turn to make theirs; just like moving the pieces on a chess board.


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