The Brooklyn Nets ended the 2016-17 NBA season as the worst team in the league with a 20-62 win-loss record. The Nets are in a strong position to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. Unfortunately, the pick was a casualty of the Nets’ misjudgment of LeBron James.
In 2013, the Nets engaged in a blockbuster trade with the Boston Celtics. The deal sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to Brooklyn for multiple players and first-round picks. The move helped the Nets make two playoff appearances. Unfortunately, their only greatest achievement was reaching the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Nets thought LeBron James and the Miami Heat are vulnerable
The Vertical’s Bobby Marks, a former assistant general manager of the Brooklyn Nets, revealed that they proceeded with the trade believing that LeBron James and the Miami Heat were vulnerable. However, Marks admitted that the Nets underestimated the Heat.
“We thought at the time that that Miami team with LeBron and where he was at [that] stage was vulnerable,” Marks said on The DA Show. “I’ve said it all along [to] teams this past trade deadline: You have to be careful with him, with LeBron. He’s got three, four, how many more good years? When you think he’s maybe missed a step, he’s as good as you’ve seen in these playoffs here.”
When Garnett and Pierce arrived in Brooklyn, the Heat “Big Three” of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh were already formed in Miami. Ray Allen, Garnett and Pierce’s teammate in Boston, also chose to join the Heat for less money. The “Big Three” era in Miami helped them win two NBA championship titles.
Miami Heat “Big Three” compared to Golden State Warriors
Marks compared the Heat “Big Three” with the Golden State Warriors. The arrival of Kevin Durant undeniably made the Warriors the top favorite to win the title this season. Marks advised other NBA teams to be careful in making a deal if they don’t want to suffer like the Brooklyn Nets.
“The bench there [in Miami], it’s almost like the situation in Golden State [where] you’ve got a top-heavy roster. At the time, it was [Chris] Bosh, [Dwyane] Wade, Ray Allen was there, LeBron there, and you figure here’s your chance to maybe overtake them, to push them,” Marks said. “You put a veteran group [together] like we did in Brooklyn, and if you make a mistake like that – I think that’s where Boston kind of pulled in the reins a little bit at the trade deadline. It will cost you for the long haul here. I think that’s where teams really have to be careful.”
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Flickr
Video courtesy: Youtube/Miami Herald