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SI Writers' Poll: Nets Won't Be Downtrodden for Long

Two of Sports llustrated's four NBA writers think the Nets have the best long term prospects of the East's worst franchises.  The writers were asked which of the six teams projected to lose 50+ games this season would they invest in.  Ian Thomsen and Chris Mannix chose the Nets without question.  They cited the presence of solid young players, the dual hoards of picks and cap space, the new arena in Brooklyn, and of course, the new billionaire owner. One writer chose the Knicks, the other the Pistons.  No one likes the prospects of the 76ers, Wizards or Pacers.

Thomsen once again noted the likelihood the Nets will be "rebranded" the New York Nets "to tap into the biggest of all markets".  He concluded, "No team has more upside."  Mannix, who ranks the team last in his weekly power rankings, says simply "The Nets, believe it or not, are the most promising" and suggests Mikhail Prokhorov will spend "on an elite coach" as well as the roster.

Sports Illustrated was not alone Tuesday in spreading the gospel on the Nets.'s Scott Howard-Cooper writes that the shovels used in Thursday's ground breaking could serve as "a recruiting tool, too".  He quotes Kiki Vandeweghe on what the lure of New York could mean for the Nets in this free agency season and beyond, how the Nets can offer free agents a chance to be part of building something.