Alright, so after seeing the landscape of the NBA change in the past year, I have come to a conclusion, if the Nets want to be seriously competitive, they have to follow Donnie Walsh's model for the Knicks.
Let's just get something out of the way first.
"Wait you liek the Knix dood?"
No, but their model is sound for what the Nets are trying to accomplish, winning a championship.
"But the Knicks aren't serious contenders?"
No they are not. At least not yet, but I place a lot of that on D'Antoni's system. Walsh has done everything possible and has laid a perfect blueprint for the Nets.
Also, as far as mimicking the Knicks, I'm just talking about this past offseason.
So let's strap into our Deloreans and recap the Knicks last offseason and why the Nets should emulate it.
1. June 24, 2010
This was the day of the NBA draft.
What do these two have in common? Well, they were both 4 year players at their respective colleges. Those colleges, Syracuse and Stanford respectively, were also successful programs during that time.
They were also taken with late picks in the draft. What picks do the Nets have in this year's draft? At the time of the writing of this post, the 25th and the 36th picks, both late.
This may sound familiar. If it does, that's because Billy King is already on it.
On February 28, 2011, in a talk about the Nets future King said that they are looking at players in the draft who were "three of four year players."
Those types of guys have a lot of experience already and if a team is lucky, they can strike gold a la Landry Fields.
Well, with that covered, let's move to free agency.
2. July 8, 2010
Knicks sign PF Amare Stoudemire to 5-year, $100 million deal
This was of course the big move that got NYK rolling again and again, I feel like King has already gotten the ball rolling on this one.
Not getting it? Here's something John Schuhmann wrote in a report card on the Knicks' offseason.
The Knicks shot for the moon in free agency. They missed, but they did nab a star. The process of turning this perennial loser into an Eastern Conference contender is far from over, but in addition to finding a centerpiece in Stoudemire, the Knicks retained the flexibility (something they haven't had in ages) to add more pieces down the road.
Again, does this sound familiar?
The Nets shot for the moon in Carmelo Anthony. They missed, but they did nab a star. The process of turning this perennial loser into an Eastern Conference contender is far from over, but in addition to finding a centerpiece in Williams, the Nets retained the flexibility to add more pieces down the road.
3. In my estimation, the Nets have already addressed the first two steps so let's see what other significant moves the Knicks made in the rest of the offseason.
Knicks sign G Roger Mason
Knicks sign C Timofey Mozgov to 3-year, $9.7 million deal
Knicks sign PG Raymond Felton to 2-year, $15 million deal
Aside from Mason and Turiaf, all the rest of the Knicks' moves involved acquiring young, affordable, guys. In fact, even with those two included, the average age of those six was only 26 years old.
This is the part of the Knicks offseason that I would most like the Nets to follow. Acquring players in that 21-26 year old range gives teams looking to acquire them hope that they can still improve, that they have upside.
Signing player's to contracts similar to these would also make the players effective in three ways. They would be performing for the Nets at a level above what their contract is, those players would not kill the Nets' cap space and those players would also be attractive in trades for certain players....
I think that following these steps will help the Nets become a force in the Eastern Conference for years to come.
1. Draft Players Ready to Contribute with your late round draft picks.
2. Acquire one High Level Player (you can already check this one off)
3. Sign Players that will not clog your cap space and would be attractive in trades.
4. Acquire another High Level Player :)