In 2004, after the Nets' summer of discontent--first round pick sold, Kenyon Martin and Kerry Kittles traded for picks, Lucious Harris and Rodney Rogers dumped--little was expected and until the Nets traded for Vince Carter in December, that low opinion of the team was justified.
Now, the Nets have just gone through an even bigger upheaval with the departure of Jason Kidd and again, little was expected...and as it turned out, the feeling was justified.
Still, a look at the team's rosters post-KMart and post-JKidd presents very different situations. The current Nets are a real NBA team, more capable, healthier and younger. In 2004, the team was a grab bag of injured players--one coming off microfracture, another a kidney transplant, a couple of young if talented players, and a whole lot of journeymen and vets' minimum players.
Compare and contrast:
After the KMart trade
The Nets' roster consisted of an injured Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins, rookie Nenad Krstic, Alonzo Mourning, Ron Mercer, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams, Travis Best, Rodney Buford, Brian Scalabrine, Jacque Vaughn, Zoran Planinic and Jabari Smith. By year's end, after trades, injuries, etc., the team had gone through 22 players.
The Nets did have a number of picks beyond their own, but three of the four were heavily protected...an LA Clippers' first rounder - protected 1-14 in 2005, or unprotected in 2006; a Philadelphia first rounder - protected 1-8 in 2005 or protected 1-5 in 2006 or unprotected in 2007; a Denver first rounder - protected 1-5 in 2006, protected 1-2 in 2007, or unprotected in 2008, plus a Clippers' second rounder - unprotected in 2005. They also had two trade exceptions totalling $10.3 million and $5.2 million.
- After the JKidd trade
The Nets' roster consists of Vince Carter, Richard Jefferson, Nenad Krstic, Devin Harris, Marcus Williams, Josh Boone, rookie Sean Williams, Desagana Diop, Trenton Hassell, Maurice Ager, Darrell Armstrong, Boki Nachbar, Stromile Swift, and Keith Van Horn. The Nets went through 21 players this season.
The Nets have two first round draft picks beyond their own...with lesser protections than in 2004...a Dallas first rounder - which was protected 1-14 in 2008, a Dallas first rounder - unprotected in 2010. On the minus side, they do not have a second round pick in 2009, having sent it to Seattle for Mikki Moore. They do have a smaller trade exception, worth $3.3 million.