I know many of you are excitied at the possibility of Carmelo, Rip, and Chauncey being traded to the Nets. I have been a NJ Nets and Syracuse fan since the 80's when pearl Washington was drafted in 87'. My family lived in East Orange NJ and my uncle was a anthropology professor at Syracuse. Every present I got from my uncle was orange and blue. I got into alot of trouble in NJ and had to move to upstate NY not too far from Syracuse and became a bigger fan after the NCAA Championship loss to Indiana. As you know the pearl never lived up to expectations but the Nets drafted another Syracuse Orangeman in Derrick Coleman. DC had some great years with the Nets but never really lived up to expectations either (ask Barkley) The 2000's were definelty the best years for the Nets.
Everything changes if the NJ Nets pull off this trade for Carmelo, Chauncey Billups, and Richard Hamilton. These guys are not coming to NJ to put up stats and win a few games. These 3 players are proven winners and champions. Rip and Melo played in the Big East and both have an NCAA championship.Rip and Billups won the 2004 NBA Finals in Detroit also.
Coaching and Players:
Avery Johnson does not have to waste time "developing" young players. The Nets would become a team with more experience and veteran leadership. Avery wont have to call as many plays to get the offense going. Carmelo and Rip can get their own shots and Chauncey knows how to find the hot hand and keep everyone involved. Yes Rip and Chauncey are over 30 and have alot of miles but neither are over the hill. These guys loved playing with each other and still have something to prove.
The bench is young, energetic, and experienced in the plaoffs. Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar have won championships with the Lakers as bench players and Travis Outlaw has played 6 games. Brook Lopez may have the most to gain as player from this trade. Chauncey, Melo, and Rip will spread the floor for Brook and Chauncey knows how to get the ball to the low post without Avery having to draw up a specific play. Rip knows when to clear out and cut backdoor as well as hit the three off of the double team.
Most importantly, players will be comfortable in their role. Brook wont have to be the 1st or second option every time on offense. Brook is a good #2, a great #3, and an incredible 4th option. Outlaw can go back to being a backup PF where he is most effective. Jordan and Sasha can focus on defense and wont have so much pressure to produce points. They both defend very well and are fast enough to match up with younger faster bench players on other playoff teams.
The Future: The Nets could make the playoffs this year and could me major contenders next year with more practice time and training camp. The Nets could face Miami, Boston, or Orlando in the first roundCarmelo will be the face of the franchise with Lopez right behind him. The Nets would become relavent over night. There will be no more jokes by ESPN and the media about NJ and the Nets. The Nets would might even force TNT,ESPN, ABC and the NBA to change this years TV schedule to get the ratings from the NY market (its been done before). No more quick highlights on ESPN and NBA TV. the Nets would be featured in the opening segment regularly with more interviews and spotlights.
The contracts for Rip and Billups expire at the same time Chris paul becomes a free agent. The Nets could maintain playoff success, get younger, and attract even more fans and media attention with CP3 next to Melo in Brooklyn. Don't forget Prokhorov's commitment to making the Nets an international team. Melo and CP3 could become household names in Europe and Asia. Even Prokhorov has said the teams market value would increase to almost 700 million once the new stadium is open and I'm sure the Nets would be worth even more with Melo and CP3 signed long term.
Am I being too optimistic? I dont think so! Say yes Melo!