The Nets are working the phones. Whatever doubt there was of that ended last night with Joe Johnson admitting that his agent told him he's on the block and word that the Nets and Timberwolves are discussing Kevin Garnett's possible return to Minnesota.
There may be --likely are-- other possible deals out there. For Brook Lopez perhaps, but by 3:01 p.m., there will be another wave of punditry and fan comments on whether Mikhail Prokhorov's grand plan has worked.
For the most part, the discussion been about how the team, rather than the franchise, has fared. Fans, after all, are mostly about instant gratification. Howard Megdal's piece earlier this week in Capital New York tries to balance things. He talked with Jake Appleman, author of "Brooklyn Bounce" and Howard Beck, of Bleacher Report, as well as some fans about the Prokhorov Era, which many (but not all) think is nearing an end. The venue was a book party for Appleman's paperback launch at a bookstore near Barclays Center.
The debate breaks down over whether the Nets basketball decisions were the defining element of the last two years, rather than the sea change brought on by the team's move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, where they still have 34 years to run on the Barclays Center lease.
Appleman and Beck take somewhat different perspectives. Appleman doesn't think Prokhorov had much of a choice, going into a city dominated by the Knicks while Beck thinks it would have been better to put marketing aside and go the more "organic" route. Beck notes that despite the record, the younger generation in Brooklyn is totally enamored with the newness of a team in the borough. But both agree there's a need for new plan.
Whether that plan is more visible at 3:01 p.m. is uncertain, but there's no doubt that by tomorrow, there will be more stories like Megdal's, more examination of where the Nets go from here.
- The end of Prokhorov's Nets experiment - Howard Megdal - Capital New York