Gambling in 2011

It's funny - with everyone talking about what we should do/shouldn't do in building this team.....I read the Rebuilding the Nets in 2011 post a few moments ago.  And stripping out Dwight Howard and Chris Paul (would take DWill over CP3 any day of the week) there really is not that many "game changer" talents available in the next 2 years in free agency (both unrestricted and restricted).  I am being lazy - but according to fellow blogger gambi99 the following guys are available:

PGs - Chris Paul, Steve Nash, Raymond Felton, Russel Westbrook, Derrick Rose

SGs - Vince Carter, Jason Richardson, Eric Gordon, Landry Fields, Jamal Crawford

SFs - Michael Beasley, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Caron Butler, AK

PFs - Zach Randolph, JJ Hickson, Kevin Love, David West

Cs - Dwight Howard

We have Deron Williams at PG, so assuming that you are going to build a team around Deron, there is no way you are going after a PG, so remove them from your list. At SG - most likely LAC keeps Gordon as a restricted and Fields will also be a restricted. At SF, both Gallinari and Chandler will be restricteds.  At PF - Love and HIckson will be restricted and Randolph and West are both 30 or older. And Dwight Howard is obviously a stud but we would obviously have signficant competition for him.

One of the biggest comments that I have read from Deron Williams is that he likes that the Nets are committed to making moves, taking chances, listening to his input and spending the money to surround him with a winning team. But honestly, outside of Dwight Howard - do you really think that anyone of those guys is a true game changer who is going to change the franchise? 

Is Gallinari or Chandler worth big money?  Is Fields a real upgrade over Morrow?  Is Randolph or West that much better than what we have in Hump when you factor in money (salary cap implication) vs production?  And remember Hump is 5 years younger with much less mileage on his legs.

As crazy as it sounds - but perhaps the smartest thing that the Nets could do is gamble heavily on the 2011 NBA Draft.  This is known as a very weak draft and is in front of a possible lockout in 2011-2012. There are plenty of teams who are making moves to prepare themselves for a work stoppage, cost cutting and who are not sold on more than 1 or 2 prospects in this lottery. 

We have an owner who has the money to spend, and is apparently 100% committed to putting a winning team on the floor and surrounding Deron with talent to keep him as the cornerstone of the franchise.  However, the options in free agency are really not that enticing, and it is very possible that you need to severely overpay for each guy. I am not sure that adding anyone on that list (save for Dwight Howard) truly makes this team better for the future.

A radical idea this June would be to aggressively make a move to trade into a high lottery pick to take a guy like Jared Sullinger, Harrison Barnes, Derrick Williams, Kawai Leonard or Terrence Jones. This type of move shows Deron Williams by June 25th that the Nets are nothing like the Jazz and will do anything that they think will make the team better. This signals to free agents that the Nets are committed to putting a championship caliber team on the floor and will make any move possible to make that happen.

I always thought the Nets should have been active (or publicly active) trying to trade up to the #1 spot for John Wall - and by doing so - would have perhaps been more enticing to Lebron (who most likely still would have gone to Miami - but at least signals to the league that the Nets are for real).

I actually think Barnes is going to be a special player in the NBA, and with a dominant PG like Deron Williams would be the SG/SF that we are hoping to find in free agency.  Kawai Leonard from San DIego State is the RJ type player who could fly down the floor with Deron in transition. And more importantly, it shows that the Nets will stop at nothing to build a winning franchise.

When the free agency options outside of the PG position and Dwight Howard are not exactly game changers - an aggressive move like this will at least signal the franchise's committment to building a winner.

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