It was a busy day for the Nets as the rebuilding finally went into full effect as Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson were traded to Orlando for Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston and Tony Battie while later in the evening, Rod Thorn selected Terrence Williams from the University of Louisville with the 11th overall pick.
The Carter trade caught many by surprise, but also was expected by some.
It allows the Nets to have almost $14 million in extra space in 2010 when the giant free agent blitz happens. It allows them to use that as an excuse to be cheap at the moment, though it’s not even guaranteed that they will be looking to spend the big bucks then with the move to Brooklyn being quite expensive as well.
The deal brought in a much sought-after guard in Courtney Lee.
Lee was highly regarded by the Nets after workouts before the draft and it came down to Ryan Anderson, Chris Douglas-Roberts and him for that number 21 spot where the Nets eventually went with Anderson.
Now, Lee can prove that the Nets got lucky sneaking him onto a roster that lacks true guards especially with Carter gone. After a strong playoff performance on a talented Magic team, he is the clear cut favorite to line up beside Devin Harris in the back court making a nice one-two duo for many years to come.
Lee was not the only key piece to the deal as the Nets also received Alston, the former Raptor and Tony Battie, who many Nets fans know for his playoff performances with the Celtics. Alston is a solid third point guard who will receive plenty of playing time with Keyon Dooling playing the two.
Alston might be a victim of a buyout or trade deadline deal as he does not fit into future plans but Battie is an interesting and underrated piece to this deal. Battie is a veteran presence whose game can help Brook Lopez develop through practice as he will be the first veteran big Lopez can learn from.
His game may be past its prime but his teaching ability, from his defense to his 15-foot jump shots can all be a part of the development of the young big and is a smart move by the Nets organization if they plan to keep him.
Next came the draft where the Nets only had one pick at No. 11 where they made no mistake and took Terrence Williams.
Many believed the pick was going to be Jonny Flynn or Jordan Hill but the Nets were not interested in moving up or just couldn’t make any deals to get those players.
Williams was scouted as being one of the best defensive players in the draft adding to a nice defensive back court of Harris, Lee and Dooling. Williams is also a great passer for a shooting guard which will make the loss of Carter's ball movement skills not as noticeable.
Something that will be noticeable is a scoring option outside of Harris as the Nets are left with streaky scorers that leave room for many players to hit 20 at any given night.
The problem with that is if Williams and Lee can’t make up for Carter's scoring outputs, it puts a lot of pressure on Lawrence Frank to run the defense to perfection as they must look to use Lopez as an offensive threat this year if they have any plan on winning.
Outside of the lack of scoring, today’s deal and pick could move the Nets into a successful era of admittance that the current roster's build would not be successful at making the playoffs, let alone winning games in it.
Though the Nets lost their captain in Carter and one of the better looking forward prospects on the team, they move into a direction of no more Malik Allen and Jamaal Magloire fillers and the willingness to take a chance on young talent because the only way to win is drafting smart and trading right and today’s activities look like a step in the right direction.
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