Like Stefan Bondy on Monday, Mike Mazzeo examines the last five years ... and finds a series of panic moves, each of which compounded the previous one, leading the Nets to where they are now: cap hell. Just as Bondy delivered a lengthy examination of the Nets draft woes, Mazzeo does the same with the cap.
The Nets situation as they head into free agency is the product of a lack of control, Mazzeo writes.
He asks, "When are the Brooklyn Nets finally going to be more concerned with the details rather than simply getting a deal done? When do they ever plan to operate from a position of power during negotiations?"
Mazzeo cites one case after another where the Nets made a move seemingly without attention to detail and ceding the upper hand to whoever they were dealing with, another team, a player's agent, a player.
He sees the current negotiations with Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young likely to lead to yet another similar situation. The Nets, once again, have no choice.
The Nets seem destined to overpay and/or make concessions in order to retain both Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young in free agency this summer -- if only because that's what they've always done since 2010, when Mikhail Prokhorov took over as owner and Billy King took over as general manager.
Mazzeo also cites some new details. He examines, for example, the lack of protections on any of the picks in the Boston deal. None of the picks --nor the 2017 swap of picks-- carry any protection. He writes that while the CBA rules prevented the Nets from getting protections on the 2014 or 2016 picks, "They could've at least protected the 2018 pick so it could perhaps be conveyed in 2019 or 2020. They chose not to."
The ESPN New York writer suggests the Nets have, under Prokhorov, made major investments that are likely to pay off down the road, but how far?
How many teams have a $1 billion arena, a $45 million waterfront practice facility on the way and play in the No. 1 media market in the league? Perhaps all of those assets will be useful one day.
But, he concludes, that won't happen until the Nets show an attention to detail, operate from a position of power during negotiations.