I've seen a lot of proposals so far with a mindset that either expects too much or expects too little.
The Nets have fundamentally changed themselves with the acquisition of Deron Williams. With a legitimate superstar, nothing is implausible anymore. But with ONLY Deron, not much is possible.
Here's the deal, take everything that we've been saying about the knicks from November to January and apply it to the Nets. Because we're in a very similar boat.
The Nets are better yes, but only relatively better. They're not a really good team just yet. Much like how the Knicks were good before the Melo deal, but you knew they weren't getting past the 1st round. The Knicks team before Melo was not gonna contend for a championship, and neither will this Nets team right now. This team is not in need of a little pistol to add to the arsenal, this team is need of a bazooka.
We can't afford to waste our time with role players or minor stars (Casspi, West, etc etc) because the Nets only have so much flexibility left. If you sign someone to a big contract, that's the team you're gonna be rolling with pretty much for the next 5 years. If you sign someone that isn't good enough to lift you to a championship, you're gonna be stucked playing in the 1st or 2nd round forever. If you sign someone old, he'll be aging and useless in a few years time.
Look closely at what David West is doing this year: 19.1 ppg 7.7 rpg 2.3 apg in 35 minutes a game. I don't know about you, but that doesn't scream star to me. I'd much sooner sign Zach Randolph if I wanted to use my money now on a PF: 20 ppg 13 rpg 1.7 apg. Why? Because he's a REAL star. And before you judge Randolph, read this: http://offthedribble.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/zach-randolphs-quiet-stardom/
Randolph is no longer the problem, or even a problem. He’s reached a point in his career where his off-court reputation still precedes him, though mostly when his name somehow permeates headlines.
The Knicks were being showered with praise even before this Melo deal right? Things were looking up. Yet they were only 28-26 at the deadline. If the Nets can equal that next year, would Deron really not stay with the promise of being possibly the best destination for Dwight Howard in 2012?
If Deron was here at the beginning of the year, how much better would our record be? Let's say he makes us 10 wins better. That would make us a very decent 27-30 team, not a big lottery bound loser at all.
Whether you sign someone this summer or not, one thing is clear. The Nets need another STAR. Another REAL star. This is not about what positions are weak, this is about straight up talent.