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Lopez will be counted on in a major way for Brooklyn.
The Nets, about to move into their new, $1 billion palace in downtown Brooklyn, were singled out as the No. 1 preferred destination for Howard but could never work out a deal for him.
The fact that they were able to re-sign Deron Williams to be the face of their franchise for the next several years was a big, positive get.
But everything else they've done in the aftermath of not getting Howard doesn't look nearly as good.
Taking on Joe Johnson's brutal contract in the trade with Atlanta may have made Williams happy, but it wasn't necessarily the smartest business decision.
Then, they signed Brook Lopez, a center who has averaged fewer than six rebounds per game the past two seasons and is coming off a major foot injury, to a max contract.
They also brought back Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries for relatively big money and managed to hang on to promising youngster MarShon Brooks.
All in all, the Nets offseason wasn't really that bad. It was more fair, OK, meh.
And they will be better. But again, this is the Nets we're discussing. In relative terms, being better means finishing 10 games under .500.
In other words, it could have been a lot better.