Congrats, Nets fans! The 2013 Nets are the Isiah Thomas Knicks

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Knicks fans know. via ESPN

In case you weren’t glued to the TV watching ESPN’s coverage of the NBA draft last night (which we get), you may have woken up to some big news: the Nets made a huge trade. They imported future Hall of Famers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett from the Celtics, and all it took was some spare parts. Great trade, guys! Oh wait, also three first-round draft picks. A a long-suffering Knicks fan, I can tell you this trade is bad, because I know it from experience. Welcome to your Isiah Thomas era, Nets fans! Gosh, teams just grow up to make godawful decisions so fast.

For those that don’t know, the Isiah Thomas-era in Knicks history was marked by this exact kind of wishful thinking. “We’ll mortgage the future because this trade will work out exactly how it would in a video game,” went the logic of doing things like trading draft picks for bust Eddy Curry and useful role player Trevor Ariza for washed up Steve Francis. The real-life results were always terrible. And even better, a lack of draft picks and being caught above the salary cap meant the Knicks couldn’t easily change their roster.

And let’s see. The Nets traded three future draft picks for two older players on the decline who are making a ton of money, in the hope they don’t get injured and they gel with the rest of the team. Under a rookie head coach. And a megalomaniacal owner with unrealistic championship aspirations. But hey, your team traded for star power, and they won the back page! Still, without a championship this year, the Nets are gonna sink low enough to allow us to buy lower-level bowl seats at the LIBOR Barclays Center for $10 by 2016.

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  1. Apparently Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has vowed to marry if the team doesn’t win a title by 2015. Clearly, he’s panicking.

  2. I have to disagree with the entire premise of this article considering the Isiah Thomas Knicks never once finished with a winning record, whereas the Nets finished 16 games over .500 last year. The team is in win now mode and these pieces give them what them the offense and chemistry they were desperately missing in that Chicago series.

    Garnett probably won’t make it past two years, and although I don’t see Pierce lasting much longer past that, they’re still positive impact players.

    The problem with the Knicks trading away picks was that those ended up being lottery picks. The Nets are a good team without KG & Pierce so they’re likely giving up mid-to-late round picks which very rarely pan out to much more than role players. I’d rather take 2-3 years of diminishing hall of famers than 3 picks that each have a 25% chance of being a player that may end up having the same impact.

    • Well obviously it’s impossible to tell right now, and I didn’t mean to imply that the Nets are going to immediately be as bad as Thomas’ Knicks though. But in all of the celebration about the trade, people don’t seem to take into account just how limited the Nets are in their moves now. And it’s not for “2-3 years” of diminishing hall of famers, it’s one for Pierce, two for Garnett. Unless KG decides to retire.

      And it’s great that they’re “better than the Knicks on paper,” but no sane Knick fan saw them winning a title last year unless everything broke juuuust right. So being better than that kind of team is something to celebrate now?

      Can you really tell me that those 2016 and 2018 picks are going to be late round picks? With most of the roster gone and Deron Williams on the downswing of his career? “Win now” is great if you can make a team that actually can win in the moment, but this has as much, if not more, potential to blow up in the Nets’ face than get them a ring.

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