Although they emerged champions, the Miami Heat looked vulnerable at times throughout their playoff run, and the Brooklyn Nets wasted little time in building a team that they feel can contend with, and possible dethrone King James and co.
The moves made in Brooklyn this summer have been nothing short of bold. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov has spared no expenses in the process of building the Nets back into a contender this offseason.
Prokhorov has repeatedly demonstrated that money is not an issue. The Nets will owe around $85 million in taxes after adding Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and Andrei Kirilenko to an already impressive, albeit expensive, lineup which also includes Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, and Brook Lopez.
The result of all this off-season spending is a deep and talented roster that looks, at least on paper, like a serious contender to come out of the Eastern Conference.
Miami is the East’s best team until proven otherwise, but outside of the Heat, Brooklyn is beginning to look like one of the Conference’s better teams.
The Bulls will look to bounce back with the return of Derrick Rose, and the Pacers proved that they are a real threat as well.
Unlike the Pacers and Bulls however, whose teams are built around young talent and developing superstars, Brooklyn is built to win now.
Garnett is 37, Pierce and Terry are both 35; these guys aren’t waiting to win. They have already played the bulk of their NBA minutes, and they came to Brooklyn looking to get one last shot at a title. These guys have two, or maybe three more years at most to remain at the top of their talent, and this is the window Brooklyn is now working with.
If the Nets fall short in the couple coming seasons, then it may take some time for the team to return to relevance. By trading away three future first round picks to Boston for two aged superstars, the Nets sacrificed their short-term future to compete in the present; a justifiable gamble, but not one without consequences.
While a starting five of Williams/Johnson/Pierce/Garnett/Lopez appears very formidable, clumping superstars together doesn’t guarantee success, as proved by the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers.
If the Nets can strike up some chemistry and avoid any major injuries or other age-related issues, then they have a serious shot to contend in the short-term.
With the revamped roster Brooklyn’s opportunity is excellent, but the window for success is small.