Brooklyn Nets extend Billy King’s contract
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO – Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King had trouble enjoying Friday when it should have been a day of celebration.
Beautiful spring day in Chicago, and King’s extension with the organization became official.
But the Nets are also down 2-1 to the Chicago Bulls in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series, and that left King unable to bask in job security.
“I am anxious to continue working hard for (Nets owner) Mikhail Prokhorov and the Brooklyn Nets”, King said in a statement.
Prokhorov also issued a statement: “Billy has been a great asset to the Nets organization over the last three years. He has shown he is not afraid to be bold and take risks, and, as a result, we have a playoff team with a world of potential. We are glad we will have the opportunity to continue our work together and realize that potential.”
Indeed, since taking the job in July 2010, King has taken risks and built the Nets into a playoff team as it moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn for the start of the 2012-13 season.
He re-signed guard Deron Williams and center Brook Lopez, acquired guard Joe Johnson in a trade, and re-signed forward Gerald Wallace last summer after acquiring him at the trade deadline during the 2011-12 season.
But King also has a challenge in front of him. He has a playoff team, but where do the Nets go from here? Prokhorov’s goal is a title by 2015 and the Russian billionaire recently told Bloomberg News Television Russia the Nets need “one more good player.”
That won’t be so easy for King. The Nets already are over the luxury tax threshold for next season at $84.4 million, and under the collective bargaining agreement reached between the league and players in 2011, the tax penalty is much more expensive. Also, teams over the tax threshold are limited in how much more they can spend.
King earned his first extension. He has work to do to get his next one with the Nets.
PHOTOS: NETS VS. BULLS