Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King said that there was only a 10 percent chance his team would make a deal by Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline. So he wasn’t surprised when the roster was still the same at 3:01.
“It was fun watching all the rumors that we were involved in a lot of places, but we spent a lot of time sitting there talking to each other,” King said Friday. “Last year, there was a lot more outbound calls. This year, there was a lot of inbound calls and you’re saying that doesn’t make sense. I was prepared at three o’clock to get in the car and see a college game. At 3:01 I was out the door and scouting. [I] had everything packed by then.”
What does King think of his roster heading into the playoffs?
“The playoffs is a whole different season so I don’t think you make predictions on them because I think if you did that, at this point in time last season everybody said Chicago was going to be in the conference finals,” he replied. “One injury and things changed for them so I don’t think you can make a prediction sitting here right now saying this is going to happen. I think we have to get into the playoffs and then that season starts.
"I like our depth, I like our size, I like our playoff experience of some of our guys,” King said. “Everything looks good but [we've] got to play the 27 games and see how it unfolds.”
King thinks it’s important for his team to secure homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
“I think having homecourt, having been in Philadelphia the year we went to the finals, in the second round you play Toronto in Game 7, it’s at your place. And in the conference finals, you play Milwaukee -- it’s at your place. In Game 7, if you have to, having homecourt advantage is key,” King said.
The Nets have one roster spot available right now.
“If we use it, it may be just for a young guy that we want to develop for next year or maybe [a] veteran guy. I think we’ve got until March 1 to look at guys that get waived so they can play in the playoffs,” King said. “So we’ll look at that, but there’s nothing immediate that we’re gonna do.”
King said the Nets did not look at Kenyon Martin, who ended up signing a 10-day contract with the New York Knicks.
“When you look at it, we’ve got five big guys, and we can barely get enough minutes for them as it is now,” he said.
What’s it going to take for the Nets or any other team to knock off the defending champion Miami Heat in the playoffs?
“I think it’s going to take being able to make jump shots because of the way their defense is predicated,” King said. “You got to have the ability to make shots. You can’t turn the ball over, give them easy shots.”
Did owner Mikhail Prokhorov tell King his goal is to make the Eastern Conference finals this season?
“No, I think he just told you guys that,” King said.