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Is Billy King in "trouble?" ... the day the Nets make the playoffs? "Fantasy basketball," says source

Dmitry Beliakov

It was described by host Tommy Dee as "news potentially," this discussion of Billy King's job security on an SNY podcast called "Mecca of Podcasts." Its title hints at its primary subject matter: the Knicks. Dee, a Knick blogger, and Moke Hamilton, executive editor of SNY Nets, talked with Brian Geltzeiler of Hoopscritic. Geltzeiler was the source of this "news potentially," specifically that King will not be back as Nets GM.

Although King has yet to sign an extension to his expiring deal, a high ranking league source joked to NetsDaily that the discussion was "fantasy basketball." Another league source was far less complimentary, comparing the podcast negatively with a NetsDaily post-game discussion.

Here's transcript of the most relevant part...

Geltzeiler opened the discussion, saying King will be out of a job.

"Billy King is in trouble. From what I understand, and what I have been told, Billy King is not going to be the Nets general manager after this year."

Dee offered a "Wow". Geltzeiler went on...

"He's in the last year of his contract, No. 1. No. 2, from what I'm gathering, they're not all that pleased with the job he's done.

"What I do know is this: the first week of February before the trade deadline this year, the Nets were very serious about inquiring to the Lakers about the availability of Dwight Howard to the point where they wanted an in-person meeting with Lakers officials in Los Angeles. They put their CEO, Brett Yormark on a plane to fly out to Los Angeles to meet with Laker officials unbeknownst to Billy King."

Dee offered another "wow." Geltzeiler continued...

"After Yormark was there and was talking to the Lakers, Billy King was then brought into the loop after the fact. That does not exactly resound as an endorsement for Billy King as the lead personnel guy for the Nets. The writing is on the wall. This is not going to be Billy King's job after this year."

"Moke, your thoughts?" asked Dee. Hamilton said he has "Brian's back" on the King issue.

"This is pretty consistent with some whispers I heard pre tarde deadline so the timeline is consistent as well. Billy king was put in sort of a tough spot. But one thing I do know about Billy King is that he was not on board with the firing of Avery Johnson. So you look at that and you look at the sunk costs the Nets put into Kris Humphries which was really not a good deal by any stretch of the imagination. YOu can make sense of Gerald Wallace. You can make sense of Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, whatever. The Kris Humphries deal was really, really bad. That being said, Billy King is in the final year of his deal and the other thing you need to consider is that P.J. Carlesimo is there on an interim basis. The Nets are..."

"Lame ducks," Dee added helpfully. Hamilton picked up where he left off...

"The Nets have their sights set on bringing in a very high profile coach, whether that's Phil Jackson or it ends up being Jeff Van Gundy, which is a name that has gotten some popularity over the past couple of weeks here. These high profile coaches usually like bringing in their own general manager or at least they like having a guy up in the front office who they know they have a good working relationship with. So when you take all this stuff into consideration, and especially what Brian is telling us now, I do think the writing might be on the wall for Billy King ... and it certainly doesn't look good for him.

"The last thing I will mention here is that I do think if the Nets and the Knicks end up being a 4/5 seed in that first round and the Nets end up beating the Knicks in that first round, MAYBE something can change this year as far as the situation is concerned but I gotta go with Brian on this one. I got his back on this one. And I've been hearing a lot of things that are consistent with this.

Dee then said it could be "power play" by Yormark. Geltzeiler who said ownership had gone behind King's back to engage the Lakers, said now he wasn't so sure.

"I'm not so sure. I think he's following out orders from Mikhail Prokhorov and from Mikhail Prokhorov's people who with the Nets. He is doing exactly what he is asked to do by them."

A third league official called the Yormark discussion "laughable."

The timing of course is quite odd. A discussion of how King is "in trouble" on the very day that the Nets clinched their first playoff berth in five years, and went 12 games over .500 for the first time in seven years? Then it is "the Mecca of podcasts."