Nets rapid transformation surprised even its architect, Billy King

Brooklyn Nets/Adam Pantozzi

You can do a lot if you have the money ... and the aggressiveness to push things along. The Nets have had both.

One of the crucial junctures in the Draft Day talks with the Celtics took place in the late morning and early afternoon. Boston wanted the Nets to take Jason Terry or Courtney Lee. Without Terry or Lee, no deal. The Nets resisted. They understood that adding either would mean an eight figure luxury tax hit. But these are the Nets of Mikhail Prokhorov. The Nets chose Terry, whose deal was a year shorter than Lee's, and agreed to take the hit.

That's the way it's been since the Nets moved to Brooklyn. Before that, all Billy King could do was marvel at the progress of Barclays Center and plan the moves that would bring the borough a championship by 2015. That was (and is) his boss' dictate. But even he didn't dream this big.

"No, I don’t think you could have dreamed of doing this as a GM," King said Thursday. "You can dream of adding pieces, but not adding these pieces together."

After 12-70, the interim move to Newark, the wait for Brooklyn, the job was not easy. King tells Tim Bontemps the transformation essentially took two steps: bringing in All-Star talent like Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace and Joe Johnson and then showing off Brooklyn ... and Prokhorov.

"We put this blueprint of how we wanted to get there, and it’s something that now they saw the building, they understand what they’re doing, they understand Prokhorov," said the Nets GM. "The mission of selling it and building something that players want to be a part of took awhile, but we got there."

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