Billy King not broken up over Nets’ misfortune
Brooklyn Nets fans knew it was a possibility when general manager Billy King sent a top-three protected pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for Gerald Wallace at the trade deadline. Now the fans’ worst fears may have come to fruition.
By landing the sixth selection at Wednesday’s lottery, Brooklyn has been left without a first-round pick for June’s Draft. But even though Wallace can opt out of his contract this summer, general manager Billy King insists the deal was “absolutely” worth it.
“What Gerald Wallace brings to the table is a lot better than some of the other guys,” said King, who expects to be able to re-sign Wallace if and when the veteran opts out. “It may take (the rookies) two or three years and, like I said, we’re trying to win right away. Deron (Williams) is getting older and we don’t want to be in a rebuilding process.
“We’re not going to be held hostage,” King continued on the subject of re-signing Wallace. “We’ll negotiate and do a fair deal.”
Of course, Williams plans to opt out of his deal as well, but King still remains confident that he can keep the three-time All-Star in Brooklyn.
“I look forward to the day we get him signed,” King said, adding that he feels “comfortable.”
The Nets had a 25 percent chance of landing a top-three pick and the seventh-best odds of getting the top-overall selection, but King isn’t too broken up about how things turned out.
“I guess going in I didn’t expect to get the pick so it’s not really a disappointment,” King said.
He would go on to suggest that the Nets could trade for picks, saying, “I’ve always, in my history, been aggressive; so not having this pick doesn’t preclude us from getting a (first-round) pick in the draft.”
King was asked if the absence of a top-three pick makes it more difficult to trade for Dwight Howard—whose presence has been reported to be a determining factor in Williams’ future plans—but King didn’t bite.
“You got to ask Orlando because they’re the ones that have him as a player,” King said.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Nets will need to acquire Howard to keep Williams, but the point guard dismissed the report on Twitter and HOOPSWORLD has been told by a league source that he has never made that request to the Nets’ front office.