1) Dwight Howard. He opted in purely because he didn't want an awkward-Mike-Piazza-on-the-Florida-Marlins or Rasheed-Wallace-on-the-Atlanta-Hawks stint on his resume for a few months (probably would've been Golden State). If he was fine with being a Warrior for 6 weeks, he would have walked over to us in Free Agency. What an idiot.
2) Deron Williams. I hate to say this, but Deron's deliberating screwed us big time. If Deron committed to Brooklyn early, Billy King would have never had to trade for Gerald Wallace to appease him. He would have never had to trade for Joe Johnson to appease him.
Instead of: a) Nets trade for Gerald Wallace b) Dwight only wants to come to Brooklyn, c) Nets trade for Joe Johnson, d) Deron signs with the Nets, e) Orlando doesn't want Brook Lopez, we resign him
it could have easily been this-
a) Deron signs with the Nets, b) We don't trade our pick for Gerald Wallace, c) Dwight only wants to come to Brooklyn, d) Orlando easily takes our #6 pick and other assets (possibly Lopez) for Dwight, e) We trade for Joe Johnson and sign Gerald Wallace
I get that its in Deron's self-interest to be a free agent, but in actuality- it's not. He's getting the max anywhere he goes, so it's not about money. If it's about championships, consider your team's long-term future, not just yours. Realize that keeping the Nets in flux makes them less attractive to other free agents. You're going to be the star point guard of the first Brooklyn franchise in half a century- commit early, have confidence in your organization, and give them much more leverage and financial flexibility.
We got to the point where we had to give up on Dwight or we'd risk losing Lopez. We made the right move. I'm happy with our team. As much as I respect Deron and can't wait for him to lead our squad, I think the only two people to blame for Dwight not being in black and white are Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. Players have the power. Billy King was told by Prokorohov that he had to win now, so we can't blame him.