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Can the Nets have a promising future without Deron?

1/20/2012, 11:52 a.m.
Can the Nets have a promising future without Deron?

The losses continue to mount, but the vision is still there.

The Nets couldn't handle the Clippers on Monday, falling at the Staples Center 101-91. It was the fifth loss in six games for the Nets, finishing their four-game, 1-3 West Coast trip. Last night (Wednesday) they hosted Golden State.

But wins and losses shouldn't be at the forefront of the minds of Billy King and Avery Johnson. Making the team stronger and more attractive for the impending move to Brooklyn should be the top priority. Unfortunately for Nets fans, it means they can kiss the 2011-2012 season bye-bye.

Barring a trade for Dwight Howard or some other superstar at the trade deadline, the Nets are not likely to recover from their slow start to make a playoff push. Gloom and doom prophecies are never good news for team ownership, but in a condensed season, expecting the Nets to go on a crazy run without one of its top players in Brook Lopez is too much to ask.

So what are the Nets looking forward to and preparing for? They're sure to have a lottery pick this summer. They could have an additional second-round pick depending on how the Rockets play this season. The Nets received a protected first-round pick from the Rockets in the Terrence Williams trade.

If the Rockets make the playoffs and pick outside of the top 14, the Nets get the selection. If you add that to the $20 million-plus the Nets will have in cap space, the team could be in a position to make some major moves. With Brooklyn as its backdrop, it could be an attractive place for free agents to land.

Looking this far ahead when a team is barely a month into its current season may not sound encouraging, but it is what it is. The Nets have to salvage what they can and prepare for what could be a promising future, but is potential free-agent-to-be Deron Williams on board with this grand plan?