The look on Deron Williams face in the above picture says it all.
The New Jersey Nets currently have Williams, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries as their core three players. Unfortunately for the Nets, Williams and Humphries are both free agents when negotiations resume after the lockout is settled.
The Nets must utilize the cap space they have to acquire another player to play alongside Williams, or it is likely he will bolt for another club.
After striking out on LeBron James and all the other superstars during the 2010 free agency period, the Nets decided to drown their sorrows by overpaying players like Johan Petro and Travis Outlaw just to say they didn't walk away empty handed. Not the best approach.
Learning from their mistakes, the smartest thing they can do if they strike out on the likes of Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and even Deron Williams in 2010 is look at some other players who can make a big impact, who may have underperformed last season.
Think of players like Aaron Brooks, Michael Redd, Andrei Kirilenko and Rodney Stuckey.
Granted they are not going to make the impact that a Dwight Howard or Chris Paul can make, but adding any of them could help move the team in the right direction.
Calling the Sacramento Kings, who are overloaded at the small forward position and inquiring about the underrated scoring ability of Donte Greene would be a wise move, since he could come at a bargain price.
Doing the same thing with the Utah Jazz about Paul Millsap wouldn't be a bad move to make either. Look at it as an NBA version of the highly acclaimed movie and book, Moneyball.
There are players out there who are being forced to play out of position or are in a system that doesn't put their best attributes to use. Basically undervalued players that can be had cheaper than they are worth.
If the Nets are able to pickup several of these players, they may be on track to turning their team around.