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Sixers-Nets Preview: All Aboard A Treadmill

The Nets are drowning in their own debt because they tried building too rashly.

Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

It's a story you probably all know. The Brooklyn Nets went all out upon moving from New Jersey, spending lavishly on major names in major trades in an attempt to provide a championship-caliber team to fans in a new city and new arena on orders from Russian megalomaniac and billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. It has not worked out well.

The 76ers may be an extreme in asset accumulation, but the Nets are an extreme in the other direction - when you have no assets to speak of. For instance, here are the draft picks that Brooklyn owns, through 2020:

2015 1st (lower of Hawks or their own)

2015 2nd

2017 1st (lower of Celtics or their own)

2018 2nd (lower of Cleveland or their own)

2019 1st

2019 2nd

2020 1st

Ta-freaking-da. Seven drafts, seven draft picks, and the team doesn't own the higher end of a first round pick swap until 2019. It's a wonder how Billy King has a job, because even while following orders, he was wildly unsuccessful while doing so, and racked up $144 million in net losses. Billy King!

Meanwhile, because the Nets acquired a slew of aging players, combined with high-priced injury risks*, and Joe Johnson using all those picks, the team is running on just a couple of cylinders. Instead of featuring a lineup full of all-stars, the Nets are dialing back the costs and the expectations. They're already traded a couple of second round picks to the Sixers this year to cut that $144 million number down, and considering the team might miss the playoffs entirely, may even try more cost-cutting.

*Deron Williams, before his Nets career began, played in approximately 95% of his team's games. He's more of an example in the "signing players to max contracts is inherently risky* story. Brook Lopez, on the other hand...

Jarrett Jack is now starting over Deron Williams. Brook Lopez can't stay healthy. Kevin Garnett also struggles with that, but at least he has the excuse of being old as dirt. Sergey Karasev, once considered Sixers-bait, is now starting. Mason Plumlee is their closest thing to a savior, and he's been DNP-CDed multiple times this year. The franchise is in shambles.

But they're still a better basketball team right now than the Sixers, and they should probably win tonight. Considering the state of their draft picks, losing won't help them anyway. Jarrett Jack, Joe Johnson, and the rest of the Brooklyn Nets still constitute an NBA basketball team, albeit a bad one. If that sounds familiar, well, us Sixers fans, we know what it's like when Billy King runs your team.

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