After trading away another key member of their team at the draft for the second consecutive season, the New Jersey Nets’ star power is at all time low.
The Nets say they are trying to get smaller and more athletic, but it looks pretty obvious that they’re looking for as many ways to shed salary as possible.
“With Williams and Lee and Devin we have three guys who can handle the ball and are very, very quick. I’m sure we’ll play them together a lot,” Nets President Rod Thorn told the Associated Press. “We think we’ve got a real nice cadre of young players that have a lot of talent. Not only are they young but they have talent. We have some great athletes now and we think that’s the way the league’s going. I don’t think we’re a finished product. I think you’ll see us do other things between now and the start of the season.”
Notice how Thorn repeated himself in that quote? It’s almost as if he’s trying to assure himself as well.
If you’re trying to build a young and talented team, why trade Ryan Anderson and leave Yi Jianlian to middle his way through another NBA season? The guy has as much passion as a pet rock and is about the same in terms of agility.
Saving money is one thing, but getting rid of your leading scorer and forcing this team to rise above it again may be asking too much. The fact that the team hung in the playoff picture as long as they did last season was a miracle, especially since they had no real small forward or power forward most of the season and rookie center, who thankfully was able to grow and develop.
Asking it to happen again is an absolute impossibility.
Forcing more youngsters to come in and play big minutes right away for a second consecutive season, the Nets are rebuilding.
Make no mistakes about it.
The only team that doesn’t know it or is unwilling to admit it is them.
So while there is a possibility they make another move or so, don’t expect one; the real work will come in 2010-11, forcing fans to wait through another disappointing season.