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Brooklyn Nets, Page 2

State of the Garden: To Brooklyn And Beyond?

Allow yourself to be a child again, and remember that one of the roughest moments of the Toy Story movies is when Buzz Lightyear finally realizes that he’s only a toy. Although, similar to other toys, he incredulously falls like dead weight whenever humans enter the room, it takes Buzz a while to realize that he can breathe without his space helmet, he cannot communicate with his home base, and he cannot fly. No matter how shiny his packaging is, he is still just like Woody and the gang. Each toy falls in line relative to the whims of Andy, and regardless of how much each toy is used, they are all part of Andy’s collection.

Buzz was pretty upset when he discovered the limitations of his powers. He almost let it get to him by becoming a depressing shell of himself, but he recovered in time to make the best of his situation. He didn’t go to the Vegas summer league and renegotiate his contract to put Andy in a worse position just because things weren’t perfect on the home front. But even if he did, the rest of the inanimate figurines would still be happy to play for the one team they’ve always known.

If you consider yourself a basketball one-percenter, then you may oftentimes refer to your NBA team as part of your family and friends, using a collective pronoun that implies shared feeling and experience. In reality, we all have the mental capacity to understand that we won’t ever don an official NBA (and coming in a year, 2×2 endorsed) uniform, we don’t employ agents or publicists, and for the most part, we actually are compensated at the level of our worth. However, we are justified in using “we” and “us” because we invest so much of our time and money for the right to feel the glory of a win and the immense pain of a loss.

As fans, we are YOUR New York Knickerbockers. We may be the toys that stay buried in the bottom of the treasure chest that never get to see the light of day, but we’re still there. So through all of our owner’s faults, if Jeremy Lin decides that Daryl Morey will provide a better home for him, it is our directive to stay home, even if the grass appears greener on the other side.

The Brooklyn Nets provide the alternative option for which a less headstrong Knickerbocker fan has been dreaming. Armed with a free-spending owner and a brand new arena, the Nets have put together a roster that will surely contend in the competition-starved Eastern Conference. But is that grass a true, solid green? Every single starter on Brooklyn (Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, and Brook Lopez) will form a tasty first 5, but all of them are overpaid, including D-Will. This has left the Nets with less money to spend on their bench. The Knicks, on the other hand, feature battle-tested veterans to provide much-needed depth; yeah they’re old and frail, but nobody will argue that Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, and Kurt Thomas can’t contribute to a professional basketball team. Brooklyn’s plastic seal hasn’t been lifted, so the new toy on the block is always intriguing. But I don’t know if that franchise provides the “greener” alternative. Green? Maybe. Greener? Questionable. It’s not puke-green, but it certainly isn’t money-green.

The most famous Mambinite of them all, Bill Simmons, gave his blessing for tortured Knicks fans to leave Manhattan this summer. As always, he put conditions on making a choice of free will, but I’ll take it a step further, and say that you can’t leave town. Not now… Read more...

Instant Trade Analysis: Joe Johnson to the Brooklyn Nets

Brooklyn Nets get: SG Joe Johnson

Atlanta Hawks get: SF Anthony Morrow, G Jordan Farmar, G DeShawn Stevenson, F Jordan Williams, PF Johan Petro, 2013 First-Round draft pick (via Houston)

The casual NBA fan might not know who Joe Johnson is, but (and I hope I’m not overstating this) this trade changes the face of the NBA as we’ve predicted it.

Too much? I don’t think so.

Looking first at the two teams involved, this has to be considered a win-win situation. The Nets now get another multi-time All-Star to pair potentially with Deron Williams, in addition to a newly re-signed Gerald Wallace. Joe Johnson is hilariously overpaid ($90 million over the next 4 seasons), but regardless of the unintentional comedy of his deal, there’s no denying he’s a great talent, especially when put aside one of the top three point guards in the league in a second-option role. JJ hasn’t played with a legitimate point since he was traded by the Suns in 2005, so it’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts seven seasons after being with such imposters such as Jeff Teague and Mike Bibby. Brooklyn badly needed more talent to surround Deron Williams with, and after a doomsday scenario of watching their one All-Star walk away to Dallas after essentially using three lottery picks to acquire him in the first place, the Nets could be keeping three All-Stars. Teaming Johnson, Deron and Wallace with Brook Lopez, MarShon Brooks and perhaps a capable power forward like Kris Humphries, the Nets might have just turned themselves into a four-seed. Miraculous.

For the Hawks, this is a pure salary dump, plain and simple. Farmar, Stevenson and Morrow are all solid rotation players, but truly nothing more than that. New GM Danny Ferry is doing what we here at MAMBINO have criticized the wayward Hawks have always implored them to do; choose a direction. The Hawks have come back with the same exact squad that’s gotten bounced in the second round for four seasons now, with minimal changes or improvements. In short, they’ve gone nowhere for several seasons. Their inability to garner a legitimate point guard or center for the past four years has been maddening as an objective observer. What Ferry has done is escape the AWFUL contract that former GM Rick Sund penned Joe Johnson to, and will now be able to make moves towards building a more complete, competitive and deep team. The Hawks could either stick with some of the pieces they have and build around them, seeing as they’ve now have the ability to extend Josh Smith to keep him with Al Horford and Jeff Teague for the near future, and then bring in another piece that makes this into an actual contender. Conversely, they could trade Josh Smith, blow up their core, keeping Horford and start over while the Heat, Celtics and Knicks get older. They weren’t going to be able to do either with with Joe Johnson’s cap-murdering deal on the docket.

Moving past the actual teams in the deal, this trade sends shockwaves throughout the league. Here they are:

Orlando Magic: Dwight Howard had “one team on his list”. And now that’s no longer a reality. With Gerald Wallace’s new deal, as well as Joe Johnson’s and presumably a Brook Lopez extension, the Nets no longer have room for a salary of Dwight Howard’s magnitude.

Some critics might point to the fact that Dwight wanted to go to the Nets, and that had they waited it out, he’d eventually be on the Brooklyn roster. However, a couple mitigating factors complicated that approach.

1). With Der… Read more...

NBA Free Agency Day One Round-up: Kevin Garnett and Gerald Wallace re-sign

It’s been 36 hours since NBA free agency began, and we’ve already seen enough evidence that the lockout didn’t make teams smarten up in terms of managing their funds. When Roy Hibbert, whose career highlights involve two guest appearances – one on the 2012 All-Star roster, and the other on Parks and Recreation – gets offered the same type of money that NBA Champion and incumbent Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler gets, there’s definitely something wrong with the way teams are balancing their cap.

But that deal’s not done yet. Let’s talk about the ones that have been offered, accepted and will be signed as soon as the moratorium ends on July 11th.

Kevin Garnett re-signs with the Boston Celtics, for a reported 3 years, $36 million

There are a few things that this deal is, and a few things that this deal isn’t.

First and foremost, this is a good deal for the Celtics. Even at age 36, KG made 2nd Team All-NBA Defense, manned the center position for over half the season and was the second-best player on Boston’s roster. His trademark intensity hasn’t abated at all in his 17th season, and though he can’t operate in the low post as effectively as he used to, his mid-range game and post defense rank as some of the best in the league. At the very least, the Celtics will get $12 million worth of value for next season, perhaps a little less the season after that, and at age 39 and in his 20th season, all bets are off for the third year of the deal. Obviously offering a 3-year pact was the tipping point for getting KG to agree so early in free agency, as other suitors would have come calling for either a higher annual salary or perhaps a bigger role on the team.

Garnett is the leader of the team, regardless of if Rajon Rondo is their franchise player and Paul Pierce is their fourth quarter go-to guy. He led the way in the defensive transformation of the C’s five seasons ago, as well as keeping a fiery intimidation that shrinks almost any team in the league in their wake. More than anything else with such a relatively long-term deal, KG, along with coach Doc Rivers, needs to be around to sustain the culture of this team.

What this deal isn’t is a “discount” of any type for the Celtics. The team re-signed a 36 year-old with bad knees whose going into his 18th season. Yes, he was healthy for the majority of last season, but what about the two before that? When Boston meekly submitted to Miami one year ago in a five game series (that they would have lost even if Rondo didn’t get hurt early – book that), “washed up” and “Kevin Garnett” were two synonymous words. I applaud KG for limping back, working on his body and remaking himself into the all-world defensive player he’s always been, but to suggest that he’ll stay this healthy for the next three years is foolish. The Celtics paid full price for Garnett’s services the next three years. No other team would have offered him that long of a deal, and though a two-year pact of an higher annual value would have been possible, it certainly wouldn’t have been for $36 million. If anything, they overpaid.

On KG’s part is this a move that codifies his desire to “win”? Surely. The Celtics will still be a contender in the East next year. He wanted to stay a Celtic, play for this coach, these fans and this team. However, this deal blew away everything that anyone else could have offered. Sure, this was a move geared specifically towards “winning”… Read more...

How the Orlando Magic Deal Dwight Howard to the Brooklyn Nets – and Why They’d Be Fools Not To

(El Miz is in transit today, so I am posting on his behalf. Please see his thoughts on the newest “Dwightmare”)

Dwight Howard has demanded a trade to the Brooklyn Nets.  While the possibility exists that new Magic GM Rob Hennigan could deal him elsewhere, the Magic would need to find a trading partner who would be willing to give up assets for a disgruntled superstar who would still want to play in Brooklyn.  Good luck with that.

So after bungling his first “demand” at the Trade Deadline last February by caving as the minutes ticked down (allegedly after Twitter feedback got too negative, a rumor which if true arguably eliminates the likelihood of Dwight even having the mental makeup necessary to be the best guy on a championship team), Dwight finally manned up yesterday and told the Magic straight up that not only does he no longer want to play in the Magic Kingdom. He wants to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets.

This is an excellent opportunity for the Magic.  Hennigan would be a fool if he is reluctant because of the misguided machismo premise: “Dwight won’t tell me what to do!”  Get over yourself, bro.  Deal Dwight, and rebuild overnight. 



If Hennigan still has cold feet, he should look at his roster objectively and consider whether the Magic can win as presently constructed.  The answer is no.  A disgruntled superstar, and a hilariously overpaid group of old has-beens masquerading as a supporting cast.  Hennigan can blame former GM Otis Smith for mismanaging the roster and committing to the likes of Hedo Turkoglu ($11.4 in 2012-13, $12.2 in 2013-14), Jason Richardson ($5.8 in 2012-13, $6.2 in 2013-14, $6.6 in 2014-15), and Chris Duhon ($3.7 in 2012-13, $3.9 in 2013-14).

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Dwight Howard

$19,261,200

$0

Hedo Turkoglu

$11,400,000

$12,200,000

$0

Glen Davis

$6,400,000

$6,400,000

$6,600,000

JJ Redick

$6,000,000

$0

$0

Jason Richardson

$5,799,625

$6,204,250

$6,601,125

Ryan Anderson

$3,234,468

$0

$0

Quentin Richardson

$2,627,400

$2,808,600

$0

Chris Duhon

$3,680,000

$3,920,000

Justin Harper

$762,195

$0

$0

TOTALS:

$59,164,888

$31,532,850

$13,201,125

Enter the Nets.

The Nets only have $17 million committed in salaries for the 2012-13 season.  They are far under the estimated salary cap of $60 million (NOTE: the salary cap and the tax-paying threshold of $70 million are two different numbers) and able to take on some of the bad contracts.   Tell the Nets that they can have Dwight.  Tell the Nets they can have Hedo, J-Rich, and Duhon, too.  Insist the only way the deal gets done is if Brooklyn takes on the three worst contracts left on the Magic.

The Magic can also insist the Nets give up skilled 7-footer Brook Lopez, second-year scorer MarShon Brooks, and a haul of future draft picks.  In four NBA seasons, Lopez has career averages of 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks.  Prior to last year’s foot injury, Lopez had been 82/82 in his first three NBA seasons in terms of games played.  He has been a durable 7-footer who can score, make free throws, and block shots.  Brooks showed flashes of potential as a rook, going for over 20-points seven times.  He may be nothing more than instant offense off the bench, but he is young and cheap.

Trading Howard immediately makes Orlando a young team with a ton of cap flexibility.  Cap flexibilityin today’s NBA opens the door to being involved in any trade as a third-team that can take on a contract or two to facilitate the deal, while taking on draft picks and prospects in exchange for getting involved to help the trade go through.  Most imRead more...