Since free agency opened up July 1, the Brooklyn Nets have been the NBA’s most talked about team. They have been linked to just about every player, looking to make a major splash heading into their inaugural year at the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn.
In the past two weeks, they re-signed Gerald Wallace for four years and $40 million—one year and approximately $16 million more than any other team offered.
The team traded away all several expiring contracts to acquire Joe Johnson, who possesses arguably the worst contract in the NBA. Superstar Deron Williams chose to stay with the team for five years and $100 million. Brooklyn tried to trade for Dwight Howard, but came up short. The Nets also retained Brook Lopez to a max deal, who missed all but five games last season.
All in all, the Nets will spend an exorbitant $287 million on the newly-acclaimed “Big Four.”
After a 22-44 campaign last season, the Nets appear eager to compete in the Eastern Conference for the first time in five years. No, they will not challenge the Heat in year one—and probably not the Celtics or Pacers either—but the Nets finally sport a team that fans can enjoy supporting.
Many recent media members chuckled when Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was quoted by the New York Daily News saying, “I’m thrilled with the way our team has come together.” The analysts are correct in their claims that the team vastly overpaid for its talent.
Yet, money is only paper—at least for Prokhorov. He previously stated he would spend at all costs to win. He put his money where his mouth is by essentially giving GM Billy King a blank check. By his shear willingness to enter the luxury tax, Prokhorov already proved he is one of the better owners in the NBA.
A fundamental transformation took place since Prokhorov became the Nets’ head honcho.
In past years, Nets’ owners were thrifty spenders in free agency. Also, what superstar free agent wants to play in New Jersey?
Now, the Nets have an ultra-competitive owner who will allow his general manager to spend money to create a contender.
And also, the Nets have Brooklyn.
Nets fans should not be thrilled, they should be ecstatic.