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Russian Revolution

Writing in this month's SLAM, Dave D'Alessandro tries his hand at handicapping where the 2010 crop of free agents, and specifically LeBron James, will wind up in a couple of weeks.  Yes, it's only a couple of weeks.

Here's his take on the Nets chances, entitled "Russian Revolution"...

New Jersey's point-and-giggle season has dovetailed into a weird transition-new owner, new coach, new arena, top-three Draft pick. But none of that may be as relevant as the grim fact that they're still in New Jersey.

Two years in the life of a franchise goes by very quickly, but two (at least) prime seasons in the career of a player such as James is probably something he can't bring himself to spend in Newark.

Just the same, try this, just for kicks: Send a screenplay off to Hollywood about a Russian criminal mastermind and a rap­per from Bed Stuy teaming up to knock on the door of some lower-middle class kid from Akron in the middle of the night. High jinks ensue.

Second thought, don't quit your day job.

The Nets are hopeful that the mere presence of Mikhail Prokhorov-the oli­garch with the prodigious melon and the Promethean business sense-will make LeBron faint. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. Our guess is the latter, and the Nets find themselves battling it out for Rudy Gay and David Lee.

Still, it will be an extraordinary transi­tion for this orphan franchise. With the right coach and two starting-quality forwards-something they've lacked for two years and now have $26 million-plus to purchase-they can go from 12 wins to the Playoffs in short order.