The Brooklyn Nets season came to a depressing close last week, when the Atlanta Hawks blew them out on their home floor. Less than two months later, The Hawks will pick up another victory over the Nets at Barclays, jumping 14 spots in the first round and take the Nets’ 15th pick at the draft, held in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The Hawks picked up that right back in 2012, as part of a package for the rights to Joe Johnson.
It was yet another loss in a down season for the Nets, and it might’ve indicated that changes might be on the horizon for their decision-makers. But while one assistant general manager might be on the outs, head honcho Billy King might be in line for a contract extension. Per Grantland’s Zach Lowe:
The Nets did not pick up their option for next season on Bobby Marks, a cap whiz who has been with the franchise for 20 years, per Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York. There are also serious rumblings that GM Billy King is on the verge of a contract extension, but Nets officials are mum on the matter.
King is the architect of the team Lowe described as having a “wretched long-term reality,” and there is little room to improve for the next four years. The team has the highest payroll in the NBA, does not control any of its own first-round picks and only its second-rounder this year until 2019, finished the season 38-44, and are slated to pay declining guards Deron Williams & Joe Johnson nearly 70 percent of the NBA salary cap next season.[note]The cap is not officially set, but expected to be around $67.1 million; Johnson & Williams will combine to earn over $45 million next season.[/note]
King has one more year left on his contract, and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov would not rule out changes when evaluating his basketball operations this offseason.
It should be clear that rumblings are just that — nothing official, just rumors. It’s possible that Billy King might be on the outs quicker than anyone else, or that he’ll manage the team until the end of his contract, when more decisions will be made. But there tends to be fire somewhere under the billowing smoke.
King will speak to the media for the first time since the end of the regular season Wednesday morning.