When the Nets started the 2013-2014 season at 10-21, talk surrounded around Jason Kidd, who they hired at the beginning of the season. The team, who made a blockbuster trade with the Celtics in the offseason, had high expectations entering the season. Championship expectations. Many people questioned the move. A guy who had no coaching experience and who had just retired from a wonderful NBA career, coaching a old, tired, basketball team. The rumors started about Jason Kidd losing his job. The Nets are a debacle. On and on and on they went.
Once 2014 began, the Nets turned the corner, they started playing at a higher level, they started winning games. The East became worse and worse, with Indiana collapsing, and Atlanta losing Al Horford. The Nets sprung up, and got the 6th seed in the Playoffs. They played the inspiring Raptors, with the crazy Canadian fans and the cursing GM. They won the series in 7, and then lost to the Heat in the next round, concluding a overall disappointing season.
On June 26, a user on RealGM commented a on a topic having to do with the Nets front office and Kidd.
This comment was posted two days before reports surfaced of Kidd asking for the GM spot. His request was denied. It should have been. Kidd thought he deserved more, I guess, after taking a laughingstock to a 2nd round playoff team. It’s ridiculous. Kidd thought he was all that. He thought he deserved more.
Kidd was traded to the Bucks for a pair of 2nd round picks. One of Brooklyn’s which Milwaukee owned in 2015, and one in 2019. He signed a new a contract with the Bucks. A 3 year/$7.5 million deal. This will be long enough to make sure the Bucks want to keep for the long run. Kidd walks into a interesting situation with the Bucks. They drafted Jabari Parker and they have Larry Sanders, who loves marijuana more than basketball. The Bucks have the Greek Freak in Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is beyond words (Literally, I still can’t say his name). It’s confusing. I don’t understand why he would want to go there. Good luck attracting free agents. Yes, your a starry name, but still. The Nets are a better option. It came down to a matter of Kidd wanting to have control of a team. Total control. Kidd won’t have that with the Bucks, yet. Eventually, he will. He will over rule in Milwaukee. Nobody will try to stop him. The Bucks have a new era in front of them. They have good young talent, but still need help. Expect nothing from them this season, but, the media will be all over them.
On the other end, the Nets have a constantly injured Deron Williams, a old, beat down Kevin Garnett, and a hungry for one more title Paul Pierce, who has a option this summer. They already hired a new coach with Lionel Hollins. Hollins agreed to terms on July 2. He had a very successful last season with the Grizzlies in 2012-2013, but didn’t meet expectations of the front office. Reports also suggest that the Clippers are serious favorites for Pierce. The fit is perfect, and will (if happening) provide skills similar to Danny Granger last year.
On top of this bizarre story, the NBA released a document that showed the revenue of the basketball operations for every team. The Nets, atop the list, lost $144 million. They paid $90 million in luxury tax, for a old, injured team, that came far below expectations. The Wizards, 2nd on the list, lost $13 million. The Nets lost more than all of the nine teams who lost money combined. It’s incredible and truly embarrassing.
I’m not expecting anything better from the Nets this year. They could be terrible. The Shaun Livingston loss isn’t huge, but he did provide scoring for them this past season. Congrats to him though, especially after his gruesome injury a couple years ago. He will make a great impact with the Warriors. They love those type of players. Back to Nets, they do have Joe Johnson, the clutch, 3-ball drainer who is getting paid $21 million a year, but possesses great shooting skills. KG can’t play more than 25 minutes a game anymore, which is a problem, but will still get 6-8 rebounds and 8-12 points. The Nets do have Mason Plumlee, the upcoming big man whose brother plays on the Suns. They will have Brook Lopez back, who missed most of last season because of a foot injury. Overall, this is maybe a 45 win team next year. They won 44 this year. I feel like going under 40 is too harsh, but it’s very possible. Depending on how bad the East is this year, they will probably make the Playoffs.
Prediction: 42-40, 7th seed, Lose in 1st round of Playoffs