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Billy King: Brooklyn Nets Will Keep Spending
Posted By Bill Ingram On July 10, 2013 @ 11:48 am In NBA Summer League | No Comments
It’s no secret that the Brooklyn Nets are the NBA’s biggest spenders. Last year’s salary earned them a luxury tax bill of roughly $12.9 million, and next season’s number promises to be closer to $80 million. Nets general manager Billy King was in Orlando on Wednesday to take in his team’s summer league game, and held court on the subject of paying luxury tax and ever-increasing penalties.
“I think it’s great for our fans and for our organization that we have an owner who is willing to spend the money and spend it wisely,” said King. “We didn’t just spend the money to spend it, we feel like we’ve advanced our common goal to win a championship. He believes in what we’re doing, we talk about it and map it out going forward as far as our strategy for the next couple of years and what we want to get to for the next couple of years.”
As expensive as last year’s team was, they were ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the injury-decimated Chicago Bulls. King’s response has been to keep spending and bringing in more star-caliber help to try and ensure a deeper run next year. A trade with the Boston Celtics netted him Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, but also helped push their salary to just over $100 million, a place few franchises would dare to go.
“When we did this deal we mapped it out as far as we’re going to be (financially),” said King. “We have a couple of year window to do what we’ve set out to accomplish and then we can reevaluate it. I think the way the contracts are set up now you have a chance to set it up for three or four years, with the length of contract, to reshuffle very quickly.”
Reshuffling could mean working to avoid the repeater tax, which increases incrementally after the start of the 2014-15 season. For more on that, check out Larry Coon’s exhaustive work on the subject here! King, however, was about as nonplused by the prospect of paying a repeater tax as he was with paying the tax bill this season.
“I don’t think that was the goal, the goal was to win and then to be able to retool when we need to. … It’s not a goal of mine to hit the repeater tax, but that’s not the main concern.”
The biggest concern, King’s sole focus, is winning a championship regardless of cost. That said, he does understand that the age of some of his core guys will have to be consideration as the team works its way through the 82-game grind of the regular season preparing for the playoffs.
“I think we’re built for both. Obviously, with some of the guys we’re going to monitor minutes, and as we go forward I think it’s built for both. … We’ve talked about a lot of that, reducing some guys’ minutes that we have returning and trying to use some other guys in certain ways.”
The best thing, of course, is that King has assembled a group of veterans who have had their share of individual accomplishments and are ready to set those things aside to further the collective goal.
“I think with our roster and the guys we have it’s not about scoring titles, it’s about winning,” said King. “That’s the great thing when you have guys leading and thinking that way it makes it easy for you to win. When you have guys worried about getting their shots then the common goal of winning is not the most important thing.”
The Nets aren’t quite finished tinkering, and hope to introduce Turkish sensation Bojan Bogdanovic at the end of the week. Bogdanovic has one year remaining on his contract with Turkey, but the Nets are hoping to work out a buyout. If that doesn’t happen, they retain his rights and he plays out the final of his season in Europe and joins the Nets next season. King was clear in saying that if Bogdanovic doesn’t join the team he will look to add another player or two to the roster.
Whether or not Bogdanovic comes over, the Nets will own the NBA’s highest payroll, which makes them an interesting story. Their first round playoff exit did nothing to deter team owner Mikhail Prokhorov from going on another spending spree, and he seems determined to test the theory that you can’t simply spend your way to an NBA championship.
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