Following Wednesday Free Agent mini camp, Billy King spoke to media as he and the Nets look ahead to the offseason.
Here are some quotes from the Nets General Manager:
On what you can see from the three-day mini-camp and if it comes from the past experience of prospects:
It's a combination. We're able to scout them, either in college or in Europe, so now you bring them for three days to reaffirm what you believe or prove things that you didn't believe. Now we'll take some of these guys to Summer League with us. Then you get more of a chance to evaluate them beyond.
King said after that he now needs to speak to agents and get a feel for who is actually available to pursue. "You don't know what other commitments they may have," the GM said. He's going to meet with the coaches who were in attendance to see who they like and who they do not like.
On if this is the reality they have to face now that they don't have a D-League team and cap room:
No. We did it two years ago. I've done it before with Larry Brown. Without a pick, usually there's time that you're working guys out, so without a pick, it was a thought process that we were going to do this to give us a jump start on Summer League. We're still talking about acquiring a pick if possible. Potential trades. This is just, we had the free time, and also we were able to get a good, quick look on some guys early.
King noted that the media only saw a set of six 12-minute scrimmages, but on Tuesday the players went through drills and the front office got to find out who was "coachable."
On Deron Williams and why the team opted to have the surgery this year and did not have one last year:
Good. He's bored. But good...I think last year it was more of a situation to try to give it time and a boot and see if that was going to help. This year was, 'let's do it right away.' I think he was more confident to get it done this year. When you do surgery, surgery's major. No matter how modern it may be, it's major. So I think this time it was like, 'let's get it done, clean him out, so we can start the year fresh.'
King said later that he knew that Williams was going to have surgery during the season. "We pretty much know it was going to be in the offseason right away," he said. King said that he wasn't concerned about the surgery and that "this is something Vince Carter’s had it, a lot of guys have had this procedure done and they wait until after the season to do it."
On the health of Brook Lopez:
He’s doing good. He was lifting the other day. He’ll be in Orlando with us, starting to progress from the court on July 1.
It was unclear what that means Lopez is doing in Orlando, but he is likely going to workout with the summer league team, not play.
On Kevin Garnett's future:
He’s under contract. Until he tells me otherwise he’s under contract...He’s under contract so until I hear something differently you plan accordingly because he is under contract.
How Garnett can impact this team at this stage in his career:
I think he was good. I think this year, you can say he’s not the Garnett of 12 years ago, whatever, but I think what he brought to the table for us was good. I think he brought, for the locker room, he started out the year, he wasn’t at the peak performance that he may want to have been to, but I think there was a lot of newness for a lot of people. I think what he gave us and what he brought to the table and how Jason used him was good.
King said before that that Andray Blatche's future does not necessarily hinge on Garnett's decision. "Well, it's his option," King said about Blatche. When the media told King that Blatche had said he will opt out, he said, "then he’s a free agent. Then we’ll decide to cross that bridge as a free agent."
On if the offseason hinges on the decision of Paul Pierce and Garnett and if the two are tied together:
Right now in the offseason we’re evaluating individuals, evaluating our team, looking at potential replacements, upgrades, so you look at all of that and then you have contingencies so if this happens you’ll do this. It’s not just based on one or two guys. You have all kinds of scenarios that we’re looking at.
I don't know.
On the team and their preparation for the draft:
You are always trying to get a pick, if there is a player you want, you are always working the phone see if you can get something. If we don’t, I am not going to be disappointed. Because we are not just going to spend the money just because we have it. We are going to spend the money if we are going to target certain guys or needs and if we can get a player that we think can help us, we will do it, if not, then we will pass.
King continued to say that team's typically don't know if they are going to acquire a pick until draft day itself. "They (other team's) may have guys they want to target and if a guy falls out of their range, then they may want to sell it or trade it. So there's a lot of conversations," King said.
In regards to the coaching staff, King said that the front office is evaluating Frank's role with the team now and that the team will keep the same coaching staff for next season as they don't plan to replace Charles Klask, who left the team for a job with the Pistons.
Before King spoke to media he shared some words with DeAndre Liggins, former Kentucky swingman who bounced around the NBA with the Magic, Thunder, and Heat. It was unknown what the conversation was about.
Following the media session, Brook Lopez was seen in full practice gear. Lopez seemed to be in good shape, but no one saw his actual workout.
Well this is nice to see. #Nets pic.twitter.com/kNuxgt1q3I
— Reed Wallach (@ReedWallach) June 4, 2014
- Nets GM not committing to anything on Garnett’s future - Marc Berman - New York Post
- King: Nets still looking to acquire a pick - Adam Zagoria - SNY Nets
- Lopez, Williams progressing from surgeries - Adam Zagoria - SNY Nets
- Billy King Addresses Nets Offseason - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- For Nets, Book Isn't Closed on Kevin Garnett - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Options for Nets Look Limited - Alex Raskin - Wall Street Journal
- Kevin Garnett yet to indicate future plans - Ohm Youmgmisuk - ESPN New York
- Nets GM Billy King working under assumption Kevin Garnett will be back in Brooklyn next season - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets GM: Kevin Garnett still under contract - Al Iannazzone - Newsday
- Garnett's future still uncertain, Nets plan for his return - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets might trade for a pick, or might not, like every year - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game