Tag:Billy King
Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:41 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2011 3:40 pm

Lopez' injury puts Dwight deal in more jeopardy

By Matt Moore

The New Jersey Nets announced Thursday that center Brook Lopez has a broken foot and will undergo surgery. His listed recovery time is 4-6 weeks, but the injury is also similar to the one that sidelined Mavs' guard Roddy Beaubois for months and which SI.com says doctors have said can take up to 4 months to heal. 

So no, this is not good news.

But as bad as it is for Lopez, it also has huge ramifications for the Nets and their pursuit of Dwight Howard. Lopez was the centerpiece of any trade to Orlando, giving the Magic a young center to at least take the sting off losing the league's best big man. At 4-6 weeks, there's time for Lopez to recover and get back on the floor to show himself still worth the Magic's investment (I'm sure that's No.1 on his list of priorities). But that assumes his surgery goes perfectly, his recovery is without flaw, and that his return has no issues.

At that point, the Nets may be one of the worst teams in the league. Howard will be staring at going to a team he'd have to claw out of the cellar alongside Deron Williams with, after having had to likely give up even more assets to account for the instability of Lopez' situation. While Howard would be looking at the big picture with regards to playing in Brooklyn the next six seasons, these superstars want to win now, every year, and don't want to risk missing the playoffs even a single season. The Magic would be then trading for a seven-foot center with a foot injury, which hasn't gone well in the history of the NBA. That damages the Nets' leverage in the package they'd have to give up, which would mean Howard would be giving his commitment to a team with nearly nothing on roster outside of Deron Williams.

Which isn't wholly different from what Carmelo Anthony did. But the Knicks were at least in playoff position at the time of the trade. Without Lopez, we see more of Johan Petro. The Nets' frontcourt, even with productive big man Kris Humphries, is going to be a near-disaster. Deron Williams is one of the top five point guards in the league, but there are limits to what even he can do.

Lopez meanwhile is faced with the balance of wanting to compete and do his job, wanting to get back on the floor as quickly as possible, and leveraging that against his long-term health. Throw in how the Nets have treated him for the past year, both in terms of his relationship with Avery Johnson and in his inecessant involvement in trade rumors, and Lopez will be rushing back from a serious injury to help a team that is clearly not invested in his future. Maybe he pushes himself just to get out of the situation, but it's not an unpleasant one, and that's before you deal with the mental and physical damage from undergoing this kind of injury process.

The Nets still have a chance at pulling off the trade which would set them up long-term in the future. But after making a huge gamble in trading for Deron Williams last season and surrendering nearly half their talent base, the Lopez injury makes the odds even worse. There's really only two ways this works out. The Nets pull of a miracle trade for Dwight Howard because he simply wants to play in Brooklyn that much, or they lose everything.

Meanwhile, Andrew Bynum looked spectacular in preseason play Wednesday night.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 12:39 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 9:55 pm

2011 NBA Free Agency Buzz 11.30.11

Posted by EOB Staff

On a shortened schedule with the conclusion of the NBA lockout, free agency is going to be fast and furious. To keep track of all the wheelings, dealings, rumors, and reports, check Eye on Basketball daily for the Free Agency Buzz. 

Wednesday, November 30th

9:54 p.m. ET
5:48 p.m. ET
  • ESPN the Magazine reports that the Warriors have reached out yet again to the Grizzlies regarding a trade for Monta Ellis, this time involving Rudy Gay in exchange for the scorer in addition to another asset. The Warriors' other asset to move would be Andris Biedrins, who, in combination with Ellis would represent over $20 million in assets. Kind of a lot for the Grizzlies to take on. Ekpe Udoh is another choice, as the Warriors are said to be pursuing a center in free agency. The Grizzlies have repeatedly said they are not trading Gay, but continue to be involved in conversations to the contrary, because, well, that's how the NBA works.
4:34 p.m. ET
  • According to USA Today, Oklahoma City and Nate Robinson are currently working on a buyout. Why? Why not keep him on and let him just expire? For one, the roster spot. It frees Presti to use it on a D-Leaguer he likes or even to sign someone. Secondly, you have to pay him less, presumably. And third, OKC doesn’t need a fourth point guard. Robinson wasn’t happy at all with his situation in OKC and with Reggie Jackson now in the mix, the Thunder don’t have any plans for Robinson.

3:26 p.m. ET

  • ESPN.com reports that the New Jersey Nets will pursue both Nene Hilario and Tyson Chandler, in hopes of landing one of the two. And then the plan could be to use one as bait for Dwight Howard. I bet Brook Lopez is just thrilled about this.

3:03 p.m. ET

  • The Detroit News reports that the Detroit Pistons do not plan to waive a player using their amnesty clause. The most likely candidates would have been guards Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon and forward Charlie Villanueva. Hamilton is entering the final fully guaranteed year of his contract and Gordon is productive even though he's overpaid, so Villanueva was the player who was spared the most here. 

2:54 p.m. ET

  • SI.com reports the following suitors for New Orleans free agent forward David West: Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards in addition to the Hornets.

1:18 p.m. ET

1:00 p.m.

  • Billy King, GM of the Nets, spoke with Howard Beck of the New York Times and confirmed that the Nets will be offering Deron Williams an extension first thing. Williams can't sign it until December 9th, but that's OK since Williams has already said he's going to wait and see how things play out (read: see if the Nets can actually convince any other talent to join him there). There's a reason the Nets are trying so desperately to add talent in free agency and trade. 
12:31 p.m.
  • On WEEI in Boston, Jackie MacMullen of ESPN.com and a longtime Celtics writer said that Glen Davis drove the Celtics "crazy" by continuously missing fitness guidelines and chasing stats to help his contract versus the team. All of this leads her to the conclusion he won't be re-signed by the Celtics. Not a huge shocker, considering the way Davis' season ended, but it will make him one of the mid-level free agents on the market. His weight is a long-term issue, but he's also an exteremely capable defender and a player who can finish around the basket. He'll get offers.  (HT: RedsArmy)
  • The Knicks need a big man, and they're likely going to get one in free agency, even if it's a short-term solution. Marc Berman of the New York Post says the following names are on their radar: Kurt Thomas, Kwame Brown, Tony Battie, Theo Ratliff and Aaron Gray. Brown is likely the biggest name on that list, but mostly because of his notorious bust status. However, Brown quietly had a quality season for the Bobcats last year and brings a lot of what the Knicks are looking for. He might actually be out of their price range, as crazy as that sounds. Gray is another quality option who had big minutes for the Hornets last year when Emeka Okafor was out with an injury. (HT: PBT)
Posted on: February 21, 2011 9:53 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 2:36 am

Nets contemplating Plan B if Melo falls through

Nets talking deal with Portland to swap Harris, Miller, Murphy, Przybilla. 
Posted by Matt Moore
UPDATE 2:33 a.m. EST: Well, obviously the Nets did not get Melo, so now they're going to have to come up with an alternate plan. Harris is going to be extremely prevalent in trade rumors from now through the deadline as the Nets know they have to move him now while he has value. The Blazers are clearly looking to move Andre Miller and have had interest in Harris for months. This could be the next domino now that Melo is gone. We'll have more on what the Anthony trade means for Denver on the Eye on Basketball blog. 

The New Jersey Nets are making a move one way or another. If they get Carmelo Anthony, great, awesome, good for them. If they don't, it looks like they have a plan they're formulating, except, it doesn't necessarily reflect a clear plan of action.

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that the Nets are in discussions with the Portland Trail Blazers for an advanced framework of the previously discussed deal for the two teams to swap point guards, with Andre Miller going to New Jersey and Devin Harris to Portland. Berger also reports that the deal includes Joely Przybilla going to New Jersey and Troy Muprhy. The Blazers would also get a pick.

The deal as constructed does not work under current terms financially, so there has to be another element in play. What's odd is that instead of Portland cutting costs, this saves New Jersey money if it goes through, $17.8 million worth, before the third element to make the deal work. But more confusing is why New Jersey is sending a pick, their best player, and their largest expiring for a set of expiring contracts? Bear in mind that the Oregonian reports that should Przybilla be traded, he'll immediately seek a buyout. This is a whole lot of money the Russian is looking to dump in the event Melo does not go through for the Nets.

Meanwhile, the Blazers would think use Murphy to swap with Golden State, according to the Record. 

Speaking of which, this does not mean that they've given up on the Melo deal, nor does it mean this is their only option. It's clear that one way or another, the New Jersey Nets' roster will not be the same Thursday night as it is right now, if Billy King has anything to say about it.  
Posted on: January 19, 2011 9:17 pm
Edited on: January 19, 2011 9:18 pm

Nets F Troy Murphy requests trade

New Jersey Nets forward Troy Murphy has requested a trade according to Nets GM Billy King. Posted by Ben Golliver. troy-murphy

It's one of the oldest and best tricks in the book: Wait until there's really big bad news that you're forced to deliver, and then provide all the rest of the bad news along with it. Even young children are masters of this tactic: Waiting to reveal a poor grade on a test until after their parents are already ticked off that they threw a rock through a window, for example. 

Such is life for the New Jersey Nets, who early Wednesday withdrew from the Carmelo Anthony trade negotiations, removing any short-team hope that their fanbase had for salvaging another dreary season. Nearly lost, but not quite, in the storm of Anthony news, was a Sports Illustrated report that Nets GM Billy King publicly acknowledged that disgruntled power forward Troy Murphy has requested a trade.
Troy Murphy has requested a trade, Nets GM Billy King says. Murphy will be allowed to stay away from the team until they can deal him. King also confirmed the obvious at his press conference: Any deal with Detroit is now dead, too.
The proposed trade with the Pistons would have sent Murphy to Detroit for guard Richard Hamilton, a precursor to the trade with Denver that would have landed Anthony in New Jersey. As Hamilton's contract is fully guaranteed through the end of next season and his production has fallen off considerably, New Jersey has no reason to take on his contract now that they're set to enter a full-scale rebuild without Anthony in the picture.

2010-2011 has been a tough year for Murphy, as a back injury limited him early on and he never seemed to appeal to new Nets coach Avery Johnson. He hasn't started since Nov. 9 and hasn't appeared in a game since Jan. 7. An offensively-skilled and versatile stretch forward acquired from the Indiana Pacers in a trade that sent Courtney Lee to Houston, Murphy may or may not get his trade wish granted.

With their season already in ruins, whether or not Murphy is content and/or productive is a non-factor for the Nets, simplifying this situation significantly. New Jersey doesn't need to worry about him being a distraction or not playing hard. Cast him away. Who cares. Nobody. Every minute he doesn't play is another minute for rookie forward and top 2010 draft pick Derrick Favors.

The worst case scenario for New Jersey with Murphy has always been to simply allow his expiring contract run out at the end of this season. Murphy's $11.97 million cap number -- he's the team's highest-paid player -- would come off this summer, giving New Jersey plenty of room to pursue a top-tier free agent or multiple targets. 

The pre-deadline market for expiring contracts is unclear right now, as everyone was sitting around and waiting for the Anthony trade to kickoff the player movement season. If New Jersey can dump Murphy for a rotation player, they would certainly do it, but simply waiting out the duration of his deal would also have its advantages. Unlike with Anthony, the Nets hold all the cards here. Not that they're great cards to hold, but it's a microscopic consolation after a tough day.
Posted on: January 16, 2011 9:26 pm
Edited on: January 16, 2011 9:38 pm

Report: Nuggets let Nets negotiate with Carmelo

The Denver Nuggets have reportedly granted the New Jersey Nets permission to speak to All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony about recent trade proposalscarmelo-anthony and signing a contract extension. Posted by Ben Golliver.

NBA.com reports that the Denver Nuggets have taken an important step towards trading All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, giving permission to the New Jersey Nets to speak directly with Anthony about the trade and about signing a three-year contract extension. 
A league source said Sunday that the Denver Nuggets have granted the New Jersey Nets permission to speak directly with Carmelo Anthony about the proposed trade that would send Anthony to New Jersey, and about potentially signing the three-year extension that the Nets insist Anthony agree to before they agree to make the deal.
Under normal rules, direct contact with Anthony by Nets officials, up to and including majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov, would be tampering. But if Denver gives New Jersey permission to contact Anthony, the Nets can make their sales pitch to Anthony about their team without being subject to penalties.
This is an unusual move in the NBA, and it speaks to Anthony's unique strength in the long-running trade talks between the Nuggets and the Nets, which most recently included a three-team proposal that also involved the Detroit Pistons. Those talks slowed early last week when Anthony made statements to the effect that he didn't believe a trade was imminent.

The step is a very public sign from the Nuggets that they have not been able to convince Anthony to sign an extension that would keep him in Denver, which had long been assumed. It also appears to signal Anthony's continued reluctance to sign with New Jersey, as it has long been rumored that he wants to join the New York Knicks. Late last week, Anthony said in an interview that it would be his "ultimate dream" to return to play basketball in New York, the city in which he was born.

Now the heavy-duty sales pitch begins. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and GM Billy King are able to make their best case directly to Anthony without relying on media or agent intermediaries or worrying about being fined by the NBA league office for improper contact. And Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday that the Nets plan to meet Anthony "early in the week -- prior to Denver's next game on Wednesday." 

New Jersey's pitch will likely include: using Anthony as the centerpiece of a team that will have cap space to attract additional top-end talent in the future, pairing him with promising big man Brook Lopez, moving the team to Brooklyn in the near future to achieve Anthony's goal of playing in front of a hometown crowd, and utilizing Prokhorov's vast fortune and international connections to turn Anthony into a truly global star. Also, rapper Jay-Z is a co-owner. He's pretty cool and appeals to everyone, including NBA All-Stars.

The Nets will also need to convince Anthony that he should be willing to endure a potentially tough stretch during the balance of the season, as the Nets have the second worst record in the Eastern Conference at 10-30, sport a roster that's short on talent and long on question marks, and will be sending a bunch of young talent and draft assets to the Nuggets in a deal that would land Anthony. Even if they landed Anthony tomorrow, it would be an uphill battle during the second half of the season to make the playoffs, even in the weaker Eastern Conference. Also, the Nets will also need to ensure Anthony is happy with new coach Avery Johnson, who is known for a demanding style.

These direct talks don't necessarily mean that a deal will get done, but it's a promising sign given that they come more than a month before the trade deadline. This development shows a professional commitment from all sides that hints that a trade will, eventually, take place.
Posted on: January 10, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 12:37 pm

Billy King's comments from July are fascinating

Posted by Royce Young

NBA.com's John Schuhmann pointed out on Twitter an article he wrote back in July 2010 after Billy King was introduced as the New Jersey Nets new general manager. Schuhmann tweeted, "Given the events of the last few days, Billy King's quotes from the day he was hired are rather relevant."

After following through on the hard part and actually clicking the link included, it was pretty obvious that yeah, King's comments are pretty relevant. Kind of fascinating, really.
"In this league, players become available," King said after he was introduced by the Nets at a press conference Thursday afternoon. "Pau Gasol became available and the Lakers had the pieces to get it done. The Celtics had the assets and the ability when Kevin Garnett became available."

"The Nets have the picks and they have the cap flexibility, so deals will come along," King said. "And you just have to be ready to do that."
Well that's not that interesting because obviously King was going to try and make moves. He was taking over a team that flirted with the worst record ever and had only added Travis Outlaw, Johan Petro, Anthony Morrow and Jordan Farmar during the offseason. Later King pulled a three-way trade that sent Courtney Lee to Houston and landed the Nets Troy Murphy. In December, King sent Terrence Williams to Houston and acquired a couple first round picks and Sasha Vujacic.

But that's not what he meant by "players become available." King has obviously been after a big name. The biggest out there of course is Carmelo Anthony. And King has been on that trail basically since he sat down in the big chair New Jersey. 

"There are some guys in my mind, teams I'm going to call, because we have the flexibility," he said. "I'm going to make some calls today. And I'll make some calls tomorrow to the same people. I just think you've got to be a pest, be a nuisance. And eventually, they get tired of you and either do the deal or don't.

"I think that's how the Lakers got Gasol. They kept calling and kept calling. And as [Lakers general manager] Mitch [Kupchak] said, I think it took a year. They eventually got him."

"In Philly, I tried to do a lot of things quickly," King said. "And in this league, if you do some things and it doesn't work, you're punished for a while. So I think I'm going be a little more patient. You can't take shortcuts."

That's definitely relevant. There absolutely have been no shortcuts. This Carmelo thing seems like it has dragged on for close to seven or eight years by now. Right before the season, it appeared the Nets were close with a four-team deal involving the Jazz and Bobcats. But it didn't happen.

So King has stayed after it and now we're going on six months. I assume he's been pestering Masai Ujiri and probably the 28 other GMs out there to get something done. The hangup has always been about whether or not Carmelo would sign an extension in New Jersey but it appears the Nets are confident enough he will.

As Ken Berger reported, the deal is getting more convulated by the minute. There could be almost 20 players involved in the thing when it's all said and done. Right now, Al Harrington is trying to get shoved in New Jersey's face. With the way the Nuggets have dragged their feet along, patience is definitely something King has displayed. Like he said, if he were in Philly still, this would've been done months ago with New Jersey shedding every decent asset it had. Instead, King has tried to learn from his mistakes and get the best possible deal.

He's not there yet, so I guess King will just have to keep calling and calling and hope Ujiri bends at some point. For the sake of us all, let's hope that happens.
Posted on: September 25, 2010 6:55 pm
Edited on: September 25, 2010 6:58 pm

Denver dragging its feet on Carmelo deal?

Posted by Royce Young

The deal is on the table. Or at least reportedly it is. And by the sounds of it, everyone is good with it. Even Carmelo Anthony.

Except for some reason, the Nuggets are taking their time. According to Sam Amick of FanHouse and Adrian Wojanrowski of Yahoo!, the Nuggets are putting the deal in jeopardy because they're dragging their feet.

Nets new general manager Billy King is growing impatient and according to Amick's report, may just say forget it. Quite a thing to do just because a team is taking a little extra time deciding on whether or not to pull the trigger on trading their franchise player, but hey, nobody messes with Billy King. Nobody.

Amick also tweeted that goodwill is fading fast between the Nuggets and the other three teams involved in the talks. He says the Nets, Jazz and Bobcats aren't thrilled with the way things are being handled. I guess that happens when you're working in a new owner, new general manager and new consultants to those people.

Wojnarowski mentioned that the holdup for the Nuggets stems from them hoping for a better deal. According to sources, Wojnarowski said Denver hoped to work a deal for maybe Blake Griffin and still is holding hope for Joakim Noah.

As it stands now, the Nuggets would received Derrick Favors, Andrei Kirilenko and two first-round picks in the current proposed deal. Not a shabby deal by any means, but you can't blame them for wanting more for Carmelo.

However, if Denver takes too much time, the teams involved may pull the plug, leaving the Nuggets to find another suitor. And with other teams like the Clippers and Bulls saying their young talent is off the table (Griffin and Noah), Denver could have a hard time finding a deal as good as the current one. It's possible because there's still a lot of time and Anthony is clearly a hot commodity, but the current deal brings Denver everything they supposedly want.

The Nuggets have had their hand forced in this situation from the beginning. And the deeper it goes, the more leverage they lose.
Posted on: August 11, 2010 11:39 pm

With Thorn in place, is Stefanski on hot seat?

Posted by Matt Moore

Rod Thorn is definitely retiring. At some point. Maybe. We're pretty sure when he gets to heaven he'll be trading up to get a better cloud.

Less than two months after he was released from the New Jersey Nets organization, Rod Thorn has been hired by the Philadelphia 76ers as team presidents, as reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports and confirmed by our own Ken Berger of CBSSports.com . Ed Stefanski will remain with the 76ers as General Manager. But the question is, for how long?

Stefanski was brought in to replace Billy King, who now ironically is the GM in New Jersey. And as KB writes, Stefanski and Thorn are expected to work side by side:

"Thorn and Stefanski working side-by-side, as they did for several years in New Jersey, makes perfect sense.

Yahoo! Sports first reported Thorn's hiring in Philly, which gives the Sixers -- and Stefanski -- a strong and like-minded voice in a front office that frequently is burdened with the overbearing ownership of Ed Snider and Peter Luukko."

But even as the move seems to indicate at best a reformed power base for Stefanski, and at worst a unified front inside management, there are going to be questions. When Stefanski took over, the Sixers seemed to be headed towards contention with a young core of athletic, versatile players. Instead, they've stalled, then regressed, spiraling into mediocrity last season before being saved by the fortune of a No. 2 overall lottery coup. As a result, several coaches have lost their jobs while Stefanski has remained in place.

Now with the more experienced, higher-profile Thorn in place, tehre will be questions about how much Thorn will be involved in the day-to-day operations of the club, and what role Stefanski finds himself in. Thorn may provide cover for Stefanski, but if Evan Turner doesn't light the league up, or if the assets gained from the trade of Samuel Dalembert's high-value expiring contract don't work out, we may see a move away from Stefanski as the face of the club and towards Thorn.

It has been a very musical-chairs-y day.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com