Many fans seem split about how to best move forward as the Nets look to build a championship contender. Obviously much of the debate centers around the Melo trade. Let us assume for a second that there is no way to trade for Melo without trading Favors and that Melo will not sign with the Nets following this season. What is the best way to build the Nets?
As I have been navigating over to Nbadraft.net and draftexpress.com it is a bit depressing knowing that the team, as currently constructed, is not ready to compete with the top tier playoff teams. Yes, trading for Melo would bring us closer, but I want a championship level team and love the young core. What direction would you take if you were the GM of the Nets?
First off - without any additions during the season I would think that this is a fringe playoff/lottery team. Any major injuries would bring us as high as a seven pick in the draft. I really don't see us as any worse than that. Looking at the roster would you trade anyone realizing that they are not part of the future 3-5 years down the line when we are ready to compete? Trading Outlaw would be difficult without adding picks, young talent or bringing back an albatross contracts, so he is here for the foreseeable future. Hump, Murphy and other expiring contracts can be combined for a salary dump, but I don't see anybody other than Arenas that is on the market and I don't see that as a fit. Me, I would trade Harris. I like Harris, so this isn't to bash his game, I just feel like he would bring back assets at the deadline for a team desperate for a starting point. The price tag - another 2012 first round pick and a young piece, would have to take another expiring contract to make it fit.
Where would this leave us after this season? We would have a bunch of cap room and draft picks, but no stars (assuming Melo is not in the plans) on the market - at least none that make sense. We could get lucky in the 2011 draft, but I think the most likely scenario is that the draft is thin due to a potential lockout. We draft the best upside player in 2011 and wait until the new CBA. After the new CBA is signed we would have cap space and picks to vulture players from teams looking to dump and three picks in what would be a loaded 2012 draft. By the time Brook is ready to sign his first contract there is a good chance we could find a major player in the backcourt to add to our young core and solid role players.
It is really frustrating to think we would have to wait two years and still have a young team. But I think if we precede with patience that we will be in REALLY good shape as we move into Brooklyn. I think that there would be a good possibility that we would be in competition with Durant and OK and maybe the Clips as the next generation team, competing to knock off the Heat from the top.
What do you think? Don't make this a Melo argument, make this about the patience plan or your lack of patience.