Probabilities Hold at Lottery, Pick to Portland

May 30, 2012

NEW YORK—Thursday night at the Good Morning America studios in Times Square, Draft Lottery probabilities held for the Brooklyn Nets, who finished in their slotted spot: sixth. The pick will go to Portland, completing the trade for Gerald Wallace.

Irina Pavlova

In the end, probabilities proved correct, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2012 first-round selection will be made by the Blazers. With a 25.19-percent chance of jumping into the Top 3, the Nets were hoping to enact the protections on a pick promised to Portland in the deadline deal for Gerald Wallace, but NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver revealed the Nets would be slotted sixth (41.38% chance) and the pick on the move.

The Nets, represented at the Lottery by Onexim Sports and Entertainment President Irina Pavlova, enter the Draft wielding the 27th pick of the second round. General Manager Billy King, who orchestrated the deal that brought Wallace to the Nets, can empathize with fans who are initially upset at seeing the first-round selection switch teams.

"I think they've just got to be patient," King said. "I think it's understandable -- we didn't get the pick. But what you've got to do is really work at the Draft. I think back to one year (in Philadelphia): we didn't have a pick in the first round, and we were able to get Willie Green in the second round and Kyle Korver at No. 57; both of those guys are still playing in the League, and there are guys drafted higher than them in the first round that are out of the League.

"I think fans have got to look at it and have faith that we're going to do our work. If there's players we can add in the Draft, we're going to do it. But if not, there's free agents out there that we're going to go after, and we have the ability to sign them because we have cap room."

King also cited the Nets' recent Free Agent Mini-Camp, which featured several former Lottery selections -- including 2006 No. 3 overall Adam Morrison. He explained that with so much of the Draft focused on projection, it's not uncommon for high picks to underperform and lower ones to surpass them, mentioning Gilbert Arenas.

The GM will continue to talk to Wallace, who has declared his intention to opt out of his contract and seek a long-term deal in free agency, and remains confident the veteran forward will return to the fold. He made the trade because the goal is to win right away, and he believes Wallace will provide more next season than any potential draftees, who are likely to require two-to-three developmental seasons.

Often aggressive during the Draft, King has executed seven trades in the last three he's overseen (including two in Philadelphia) and 13 in 11 overall. Now that the Draft order is set, King can begin exploring all his options with knowledge of who might want to make a move, whether in the Draft or on their roster as the team prepares for its September debut in Brooklyn.

"Our logo, the launch of that, and obviously how many people have been buying the merchandise, is a good selling point," King said. "We're going to build a team. There are going to be pieces that come into place. We could have signed free agents last year, but we chose not to because we were saving it for someone else. This year we're going forward and building a team to open Brooklyn with a team that can be -- next year at this time -- not sitting at the lottery but playing in the playoffs. That's our goal. That's our No. 1 focus, No. 1 goal, and now that this is done, I'm able to focus on achieving that."

Billy King - Message for Fans

Irina Pavlova - Message for Fans


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