Brooklyn Nets introduce new faces - New York News

Brooklyn Nets introduce new faces

Posted: Updated:

TOM CANAVAN | AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — The Nets are no longer concerned about getting back to the playoffs after a five-year drought.

The more pressing issue for Brooklyn's new team is getting a few more pieces so the franchise can challenge for the Eastern Conference title.

While it sounds optimistic, that's the mood of the Nets as they approach their first season in Brooklyn with a roster that includes an All-Star backcourt of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, a veteran small forward in Gerald Wallace and a talented young center in Brook Lopez.

Having Dwight Howard at center, of course, would have catapulted the Nets from woeful to wonderful in a split second, but the much ballyhooed deal with Orlando fell apart earlier this week. Still, the Nets should be a lot better than their 22-44 mark in the lockout-shortened season.

"I really believe this is a playoff team," coach Avery Johnson said Friday after the Nets held a news conference in Brooklyn's Borough Hall to showcase Williams and Johnson. "Once we can become a playoff team and get into the playoffs, then anything can happen.

"It's all about size, athleticism and versatility. You saw it with the Miami Heat last year and you'll see it again this summer in the Olympics."

The Nets will be much more athletic with Williams, Johnson and Wallace, combined with a healthy Lopez, who missed most of last season with foot problems. Second-year guard MarShon Brooks fits right in, as well.

Where the Nets need help at is power forward. Reggie Evans was acquired from the Clippers earlier this month and general manager Billy King said the team is close to re-signing Kris Humphries, the team's leading rebounder last season.

Brooklyn also this week signed Mirza Teletovic, a 6-foot-9 free agent who can play both forward spots, to a three-year, $10 million contract.

Humphries is a free agent, as well, but the Nets own his Larry Bird-rights, so they can pay him anything they want. Charlotte also has interest. King said the Nets have had serious talks with veteran Jerry Stackhouse, also. The other pressing need would be a backup point guard, preferably a veteran.

King has made several big moves this offseason. The most notable is Williams, who signed a five-year, $98 million deal, and engineered a trade with the Hawks that brought Johnson to Brooklyn for five players and two draft picks. King also re-signed Wallace to a four-year, $40 million pact, and re-signed Lopez to a four-year, $60 million deal after the Howard trade fell through.

Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov didn't give King a green light to spend as much money as he wanted, but he didn't oppose any move that would make the team better. The transactions have pushed the Nets over the cap, and they will have to pay a luxury tax next season.

King said the Nets have a team — on paper — that can be in the playoffs.

"Now, the goal is to work together and see if we can be a team that ultimately can be in the top four (in the conference), so you can have home course in the first round of the playoffs," King said. "We'll see how quickly it comes together. The whole process — once we got Deron — was filling around him. We have people around him who are all natural fits."

Johnson and Williams were excited about the chance to play with each other, noting opponents can't concentrate too much on one.

"We have some great pieces here," said Johnson, a six-time All-Star who has averaged 17.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists in his career. "Some pieces that can really get us over the hump, and be an NBA contender."

Williams, who averaged a career-best 21 points last season, said one of the big reasons he decided to stay with the Nets was because of all the moves the team made. He added that he has never played with someone of Johnson's caliber.

"This is a fresh start for us all," Williams said. "I am excited to see where this team can go."

When asked if the Nets were a playoff team, Williams didn't hesitate.

"No doubt," he said.

Time will tell.

  • Brooklyn NewsBrooklyn NewsMore>>

  • The Big Idea

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Making New York City more energy efficient

    Friday, July 25 2014 6:45 AM EDT2014-07-25 10:45:43 GMT
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
    More than half the population of New York City rides public transportation to work. No other metropolis in this country even approaches that percentage or the MTA's total number of riders. For that reason, New York likely ranks as the most energy-efficient city in the nation. But what would it take to make the city even more energy-efficient or even self-sufficient?
  • Dunkin' Donuts cashiers will try to 'upsell' you in the afternoon

    Dunkin' Donuts cashiers will try to 'upsell' you in the afternoon

    Friday, July 25 2014 5:54 AM EDT2014-07-25 09:54:31 GMT
    If an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts is part of your afternoon routine, expect a nudge to buy a cookie or doughnut you didn't plan on. Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis said in a phone interview Thursday that the company is pushing to get its cashiers to "upsell" to afternoon customers. It's part of an effort to increase sales after stores have emptied out after the morning rush.
    If an iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts is part of your afternoon routine, expect a nudge to buy a cookie or doughnut you didn't plan on. Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis said in a phone interview Thursday that the company is pushing to get its cashiers to "upsell" to afternoon customers. It's part of an effort to increase sales after stores have emptied out after the morning rush.
  • NYC's pickup basketball games moving indoors

    NYC's pickup basketball games moving indoors

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:54 PM EDT2014-07-24 21:54:18 GMT
    Believe it or not this, some say New York's outdoor basketball courts are a dying entity. Even Rucker Park in Harlem -- where Dr. J and countless others honed their skills -- used to be standing room only all times of the day. Now there's plenty of room to stand on most days.Basketball programs like one at Chelsea Piers are gaining popularity. That means the place to hoop it up for many appears to be indoors.
    Believe it or not this, some say New York's outdoor basketball courts are a dying entity. Even Rucker Park in Harlem -- where Dr. J and countless others honed their skills -- used to be standing room only all times of the day. Now there's plenty of room to stand on most days.Basketball programs like one at Chelsea Piers are gaining popularity. That means the place to hoop it up for many appears to be indoors.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices