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The Big Pivot: Nets moving away from superstar model, now and in the future

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Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Raskin, writing in the Wall Street Journal, takes a look at the Nets off-season and sees what he --and others-- think is a big change in the Nets strategy going forward. No more starstuck decisions and big dreams, but instead incremental moves ... and instead of huge luxury tax bills, maybe even a profit, the organization's first in 15 years.

Call it the big pivot.  Raskin does.

Billy King is pivoting away from the model that had the team spending an NBA record $90.57 million in luxury taxes in 2013-14 as it lost a reported $144 million.

Because of last week’s buyout of point guard Deron Williams, the Nets saved more than $40 million in wages and luxury taxes and are now under the luxury-tax threshold for the first time since moving from New Jersey. And instead of losses, the Nets’ profit margin might finally resemble their black uniforms.

King isn't under orders to get under the luxury tax threshold, insiders tell NetsDaily, but Mikhail Prokhorov and Dmitry Razumov want the team to be more fiscally responsible after Prokhorov doled out $123 million in luxury taxes its first three years in Brooklyn. As Raskin notes, Prokhorov can afford losses, but...

What he and the team can’t afford is another disaster like the 2013 trade that brought Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce over from Boston while denying the Nets control of their first-round pick until 2019.

As for next summer, Raskin sees another pivot in strategy.  He quotes "several" season ticket holders who attended a dinner last March. They recalled King saying the plan for 2016 was to attract "a couple of really good free agents" instead of "one superstar."  King, said a Nets spokesman, recalls something a bit different, saying he was looking for "one really good player or maybe three really good ones,"

Either way, it appears times have changed.