clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

For Billy King, it's the moment of truth (or Truth)

New, comments
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

This is why Billy King mortgaged his team's future.

As the playoffs begin, Kings trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will be scrutinized even more than it was last June. He and Mikhail Prokhorov built this team for the playoffs, wanting a tougher, more experienced club than the one that let a 14-point lead slip away in Game 2, then collapsed in Game 7 vs. the Bulls.

Indeed other than the three first round picks plus a 2017 swap, the Nets gave up virtually nothing to Boston. Gerald Wallace finished the season injured, his $20 million contract looking more and more like an albatross. Keith Bogans was sent home after he and Celtic coach Brad Stevens clashed. Kris Humphries is now a free agent after a mediocre season, MarShon Brooks has been traded twice and Kris Joseph is in France. None are in the playoffs. King even got value for Jason Terry who the Celtics forced on him. Marcus Thornton, 10 years younger than Terry, averaged 12 off the bench as a Net after a February trade.

Not to mention the piece de resistance of Draft Night: going for a four-year college player, Mason Plumlee.

"I’m anxious for the playoffs [to start]," King told Tim Bontempts Wednesday before the Nets ended their regular season with a loss to the Cavaliers in Cleveland. "Everybody has new records, and there’s seeding but it doesn’t matter."

He's probably anxious to put the Nets disastrous start to rest as well. He hired Jason Kidd but truth be told, that process began in Moscow.  Still, King says he knew the veteran players he assembled would rally around Kidd and the mission, no matter what the early season woes.

"These are veteran guys, and they’re just playing basketball. Jason has given them a blueprint, and they’re following it. If we were a young team it would be tougher, but I think having a starting lineup of all veterans, they can click and understand."

King will be in Toronto Saturday afternoon, no doubt anxious about what his masterwork will look like.  No matter what, his moves have made the year interesting.