Ford: Nets Off-Season a B+

July 13, 2012; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets coach Avery Johnson , point guard Deron Williams , guard Joe Johnson and general manager Billy King pose for photos at a press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE

Chad Ford ranks the Nets off-season no lower than fourth, behind the Celtics, Lakers, Heat and Hornets. Not bad considering that six weeks ago he told Bill Simmons that Billy King should be fired. Ford writes that while he doesn't like several of King's moves --the Joe Johnson trade, the contracts for Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace-- the Nets GM did well overall.

In aggregate, King looks much smarter. His huge gamble to trade for Deron Williams 18 months ago paid off. Williams was the single most important signing for any team this summer, and he has made it clear that he would not have re-signed with the Nets had they not pulled the trigger on the Johnson and Wallace trades. So how can you criticize either deal? And Lopez? Roy Hibbert got the same deal. Heck, Omer Asik got huge money.

The result, says Ford, is that the Nets will be relevant and could win as many as 50 games (which would be two short of the franchise record). Why not an A? He questions "whether they can sustain momentum past the next two seasons."

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