The New Jersey Nets chased all time mediocrity last season. They started 0-18, the worst record ever to start a season in NBA history. They went on to finish 12-70. Not too pretty either. But can this record chasing (in a bad way) squad bounce back and take the NBA Title? This notion seems absurd at first glance, but I can show you how it most certainly is not.
The Nets have a plan for this off-season. It's going to be a big one in Jersey. They dealt their Big Three, Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, and Vince Carter, over the last couple of years to leave cap-space for a big signing or two in this historical free agent off-season. Perhaps one LeBron James? Just putting it out there.
If LeBron comes to the Nets, they will not need another free-agent signing. If not, they will need to get two great signings. An option is signing both Dwyane Wade and Carlos Boozer, who are both All-Star caliber. The Nets have the money to buy both of them, but the only issue is if they are willing to come.
The Nets also have a plethora of picks in this years NBA Draft. Effectively, they own three first round picks since they have the first pick of the second round. In all, they have the 1st (or not depending on the draft lottery), 27th, and 31st picks. There is a lot that can be done with those picks.
With the first pick, assuming they get it, the Nets will select John Wall, the multi-talented Point Guard who has been compared to fellow Calipari one-and-done, Derrick Rose. With their second selection, the 27th pick overall, the Nets will look to get a big forward, like athletic Gani Lawal. With the 31st pick, the Nets will try to nab another big man or a back-up point guard, either power forward Jarvis Varnado or point guard Eric Bledsoe.
The last player transaction should be the dealing of Devin Harris for a cheap but experienced veteran. Sure, Harris has done nothing but help the Nets in the franchises' smidgen of success, but if they could get John Wall, will it be worth it to keep one of their priciest players? I think not. If they deal him they will leave even more cap space to insure that they can meet the price-tag for whichever free agent that they try to pick up.
The final action that the Nets have to take is hiring a seasoned coach. Mike Woodson, who was recently let go by the Hawks, is a great man for the job. In my opinion, he was not deserving of his termination. He brought a diminished franchise to the playoffs three straight years. If the Nets could snatch him, their final niche would be filled.
If the Nets take all of these actions, which are all attainable, they could be on their way to glory. Here's a look at the potential 2011 Nets squad:
PG: John Wall
SG: Dwyane Wade
SF: Terrence Williams
PF: Carlos Boozer
C: Brook Lopez
Bench: Courtney Lee, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Eric Bledsoe, Keyon Dooling, Kris Humphries, Gani Lawal, Yi Jianlian, and either Eric Bledsoe or Jarvis Varnado
This team is loaded with talent and depth. It obtains the scoring edge to bout with the most offensive-minded teams in the NBA. It also is lead by underrated coach, Mike Woodson. So, what are your thoughts? Could this squad go from dead last to NBA champs? Please, comment on what you think.