Whereas the Brooklyn Nets and their followers can take solace in the truth that their workforce is competing for a championship because of Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving, one should not overlook the truth that the Nets had been a laughingstock for years, and the efficiency of GM Billy King is likely one of the foremost causes behind the catastrophe.
King was answerable for buying and selling away most of their premium draft picks, together with the alternatives that later turned stars like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and Collin Sexton, to the Boston Celtics with a purpose to purchase Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, each of whom had been on the again 9 of their careers.
The commerce bought the Nets to the playoffs, but it surely additionally left them in a hopeless state of affairs Sean Marks needed to drag them out of.
Regardless of all of that, King maintains that his commerce was centered round bringing Durant to Brooklyn a lot sooner than the 2019-20 season.
King claimed this week, per Matt Sullivan, that he made the commerce for Garnett and Pierce as a part of an extended con to pry Durant unfastened from the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder.
This take is so divorced from actuality it’s astounding.
There is no such thing as a approach the Brooklyn Nets have Kevin Durant due to Billy King.
There was no approach Durant was coming to Brooklyn in 2013. Oklahoma Metropolis was a younger contender on the time, and Durant had three extra years left on his contract on the time the deal was made. After giving up all of those belongings to Boston, what would the Nets even have to surrender to OKC?
King hinted that he made the commerce to make the Nets a extra interesting TV product, however he failed to contemplate the truth that this workforce had no future after the Miami Warmth took them down. King’s roster was swiftly disassembled, as proprietor Mikhail Prokhorov, who was hit with sanctions by the US authorities, didn’t need to pay the posh tax.
The consequence was one of the vital unwatchable durations of basketball in current NBA historical past. Successful didn’t matter, as a result of they didn’t have the gamers to take action. Dropping additionally didn’t matter, as a result of considered one of their most hated rivals in Boston owned all of their draft picks. It took Sean Marks to tug them out of this darkish age.
By taking over costly contracts to assist Brooklyn win now in addition to including younger expertise like Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and D’Angelo Russell, Marks made the Nets a greater workforce whereas creating the tradition and setting that Durant and Kyrie Irving puffed up after they determined to take their abilities to Brooklyn.
King, who helped construct the Allen Iverson 76ers earlier than he got here to Brooklyn, made some fireable strikes even if you happen to take this commerce out of the equation.
In 2011, King traded Troy Murphy and a 2012 second-round choose to the Golden State Warriors for Brandon Wright and Dan Gadzuric. The choose finally turned Draymond Inexperienced. King handed on Jimmy Butler within the draft that 12 months to take MarShon Brooks.
King traded Mehmet Okur and a 2012 first-round choose to the Portland Path Blazers in change for Gerald Wallace, who went to Boston within the Pierce-Garnett deal. The participant Portland took with that choose? Damian Lillard. Oops.
Let’s not sugarcoat issues. King was an extremely damaging presence in Brooklyn, and no matter entrance workplace talent he confirmed in Philadelphia fully evaporated by the point he got here to the Nets. Marks is the one who helped make this workforce what it’s right now, and King attempting to say he secretly had this nice plan up his sleeve is mindless when analyzed intently.