Though much of the fan reaction was negative, there were some thoughtful messages from some fans suggesting that losing Paul Pierce might turn out just fine:

Frank Fallon:
No one likes change but long ball is gone. It left the day we traded Kidd. That meant that Pierce and Livingston no longer had a place on this team. Everything Pierce brought as a PF can be replicated by Mirza. The are both stretch 4s who shoot 3 pointers well while struggling on defense and rebounding. The differnce being that Mirza brings more size and improving skills while Pierce is a declining player with inadequate size. Pierce is even easier to replace at SF. The Nets best player, Joe Johnson, is going to start at SF. Bogdanovic also plays a similar game too Pierce but with more upside.

Lucky for the Nets that they have a stable of good 7-footers. Lopez, Garnett and Plumlee are all very good players who bring three completely different playing styles. Lopez is the last of a dying breed, a true low post Center. KG is still very good on defense and capable of spacing the floor offensively. Plumlee is a pick and roll big who is at his best when he gets momentum moving towards the rim. I think we will see both KG and Plumlee playing a lot of PF this year to match up with the new, big lineups in the East. Kirilenko and Mirza will also be options at PF when the Nets want to play small.

All in all I think the Nets are having a very good off season.

Hollins is an upgrade over Kidd.

Jack is an upgrade over Livingston espcially with Kidd gone.

A healthy Lopez will more then make up for the loss of Blatche

DWill finally got ankle surgery. It shouldnt be hard for him to improve on last year.

Kirilenko played hurt for pretty much the entire season. I expect him to also bounce back.

Markel Brown looks like he will add athleticism and defense to our rotation

Bogdanovic is 25 years old and should be able to hit the ground running.

Mirza and Plumlee should both be a year better and more improved

And most importantly, Joe Johnson finally stepped up into the primary role in the playoffs. He has finally found his nitch on this team.

Christopher Vega:
Everybody keeps talking about what the nets are losing with Kidd, Pierce, livingston, blatche and so on BUT look what were adding. A real defensive minded coach in hollins who is a proven no nonsense winner, Jack, karasev, a healthy brook lopez, a healthy Dwill(god willing), Markel brown who looks like a steal in the second round( traded 3 of our 1st round picks but we got a gm who seems to know how to work the draft), bojan bogdonavich ( who ppl keep saying is a top 5 pick in the past draft if he were in it). Every expert last year said the KG and pierce were not gonna be enough for nothing most so called experts had the nets not in the playoffs or not making it past the first round. Ill reserve judgement, The nets are a good team and capable of doing better then last year!

Greg Madhere:
The nets were definitely more exciting to watch last year despite the slow start. However, I'm glad they are not going down the path of the Knicks who tend to wait far too long to shed unproductive, bad contracts. Not saying Paul Pierce didn't have his moments last season, but he was never getting us to the promise land. During the playoffs, the King told the Truth: Thou shall not pass.

 

Good morning. Paul Pierce is no longer a member of the Brooklyn Nets.
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Pierce

Pierce (AP)

After just one season with Brooklyn, Pierce and the Nets have moved on from each other.

Paul Pierce has signed with the Washington Wizards for 11 million over 2 years, Marc Stein reports.

With the mega spending from Brooklyn over the last two years, their decision to cut it off now will surely be a much discussed point heading into this season.

 


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AP

AP

Who was the most cost-effective team in the league this season? Who was the least?

With the latest luxury tax information, we've learned that the Brooklyn Nets spent a ridiculous amount of money this season, and it added up to 44 wins and a second-round exit. But just how much were those wins -- and that payroll -- worth?

To figure that out, I put together two very simple charts. The first is "cost per win" -- which is, quite literally, how much each win cost a team in NBA salary plus luxury tax. That accounts for how much the team spent on their roster in total, not just on the players.

So how'd they do?
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Video by Cody Hart

 

LeBron James, Joe Johnson

No more LeBron in Miami. (AP)

So, the big news of the day: LeBron James is returning to Cleveland, joining the Cleveland Cavaliers on what will likely be a maximum contract. The NBA world is abuzz with the news, and dominos quickly began falling behind.

But what about the reaction from Brooklyn? Only two current Nets players reacted to the news quickly and publicly, and they're two of the newest members of the team: rookie Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson. I love the way Brown handled it, and Jefferson was funny too:
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- Box Score -

New game, same story. The Nets dropped every quarter to the Rockets and finished the game with zero points in the standings, losing 101-75.

Today, they were the victims of a Nick Johnson triple-double and 28 turnovers. Yes, twenty-eight turnovers. I didn't have a ton of thoughts watching this slow burn of a blowout, but here they are:

Co-MVPs: Marquis Teague and Corey Jefferson:

This may be the best basketball I’ve ever seen from Marquis Teague. Honestly, I’m not pulling any pranks here. He finished with 6 assists in the first quarter and didn’t make me throw up once, both records. At halftime, Hollins spoke with the NBA TV crew and said that he told Teague to be aggressive, confident and prove that he belongs in the NBA. Teague took it to heart, exhibiting a bevy of speed and athleticism.

He finished with 7 points, 7 assists, 3 steals, 4 turnovers on 1-5 shooting. Admittedly, at first glance, those aren't eye-popping numbers, but Teague played with an unmistakable fervor, something that has been missing from his game since last season's trade. Is there hope for Teague?

As for Corey Jefferson, he saved his best for last. He shot 5-5 in the first half and threw down perhaps the Nets' best highlight of the night: an alley-oop from Teague. If Jefferson can sneak onto the team, he’ll provide some nice hustle minutes and athleticism. Lost in the blowout was Jefferson's final stat-line: 19 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 blocks and just 1 turnover in 25 minutes. Not bad for the 60th pick, eh?

Mason Plumlee, of course, did not play. Winer noted that he has no injury and that he wasn’t even with the team today. No need to watch Plumlee tear up Summer League again when he could be spending his time watching inspirational sports movies with Kevin Garnett.

Sergey Karasev looked a little nervous in his first stint with Brooklyn. It’s not particularly shocking given that he just spent a few weeks training and practicing with the Cavaliers and got dropped into a new lineup. Late in the fourth, however, Karasev started to come out of his shell and hit a couple threes and a runner in the paint.

He finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 33 minutes. Whether or not you think he impressed tonight, the Nets seem high on him and should get his chances this season with Brooklyn.

With Jorge Gutierrez out still, Gill talked about his haircut for the first three minutes of the second half. Immediately followed up by Winer saying: “This has been a blast this week.” It appears as if they forgot there was basketball on and who can blame them?

Markel Brown had a quiet game, but had to duck in order to avoid hitting his head on the rim while grabbing a rebound. So there’s that.

Last year, after the conclusion of the Nets’ final Summer League game blowout, I tweeted: “Is it September yet?” Let’s not ruin that tradition. Is it September yet?

 

Four-time MVP and two-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat LeBron James released a letter today through Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated announcing his intention to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he played the first seven years of his career.

Here's an excerpt from the letter, which you can read in full here:

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

James's return to Cleveland makes them the odds-on favorite to win the NBA Championship, according to Bovada odds. They are currently 4-1 odds, with the Spurs second at 5-1.

Though this isn't directly Nets news, it was widely believed that James's decision is what held up the rest of free agency. With the Nets hoping to have a decision on Paul Pierce's status soon, coupled with Pierce's exit from the World Series of Poker last night, the dominos may begin falling quickly today.

 

Hey you! Want to help keep The Brooklyn Game rolling? We're looking for you. The Brooklyn Game is growing, and we want you to help us grow. The short: we're looking for contributors to do a few different things.

Contributors to The Brooklyn Game have gone on to do some awesome things. For one, there's the exposure of getting your work linked on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, YES Network, and all over the internet. And there's room to grow: one of our contributors who started here is now the sports editor for a newspaper in northern New York. Another was a part of the Sacramento Kings draft project, and now working with the Kings through the offseason.

Here's a few things we're looking for:

Editorial contributor: Do you keep your friends close and Nets news closer? Do you have entirely too serious opinions about whether Andrei Kirilenko or Mirza Teletovic should get more playing time? Was buying Summer League Pass an afterthought? We're looking for self-starters who both have a passion for the Nets and the unique voice to share it. Contributors would have the chance to write short-form and long-form articles for the site with editorial guidance and approval, along with doing behind-the-scenes work to help keep the site rolling. Experience writing about sports a plus. Apply to devin(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com. Applicants should note their likely time commitment and send in a shortform and longform writing sample. Topics can be given by request. If you are in college, we're happy to work with your school to help you get college credit. We may not respond to all requests.

Social Media contributor: Are you on Twitter and Facebook 24/7? Do you have text notifications pop up to see what free agent is going where? Do you tweet entirely too much for an average healthy human about how good Bojan Bogdanovic can be? This is the one for you. Experience in social media or with social media applications like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite a plus. Apply to devin(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com. Applicants should note their likely time commitment, send us a link to their social media page, and explain in under 140 characters why they're the right fit. We may not respond to all requests.

Ad sales intern: The other two posts are paid in love and appreciation, as well as the opportunity for exposure and a chance to develop your voice in a professional setting. But want to make some money? We need folks to sell ads on the site. We prefer people who have some selling experience and live in Brooklyn. If interested, write steven(at)thebrooklyngame(dot)com.

 

While the NBA world sits in a holding pattern awaiting the future of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony, Paul Pierce might as well be on another planet. Oh, sure, he's in Las Vegas, just like James was earlier this week for his camp. But he's not there for basketball, not there to talk to executives about free agency, not there to watch Summer League. He's there for an entirely different purpose. Or, at least he was.
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