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King Confident About Offseason Action

May 1, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Brooklyn Nets General Manager Billy King met with media Tuesday at the team's practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J. to wrap up the 2011-12 season and discuss his outlook on the upcoming offseason.

A day after the debut of the Brooklyn Nets' new logo, with its black-and-white color scheme, General Manager Billy King returned to East Rutherford, N.J. to wrap up the season with assembled media at the PNY Center. The team finished out of the playoffs after an injury-plagued season, but King is encouraged by ownership's support and the team's direction, which he is confident will include free-agent point guard Deron Williams.

"I think he and I understand what I've got to do and where we've got to get to," King said. "The goal is to win. The goal is to not be talking to you this early in the year in the spring, to be talking to you later in the spring playing basketball. If we can come back with our core and add to that, I think we have a great shot to be playing postseason basketball next year."

King conceded that injuries – an ever-present threat in sports – have clouded the master plan, but he believes that with 27-year-old Williams and now, a 30-year-old Gerald Wallace, the time to win is now. Having added Wallace at the March 15 trade deadline for two injured, out-of-the-rotation players and a Top-3-protected First-Round pick, King still believes what Wallace brings to the team will outpace the production of any rookie selected from pick Nos. 6-9.

That will be contingent on re-signing Wallace, whom King acknowledged will opt out of the remaining year of his contract and become a free agent. Wallace indicated he'd be seeking a multi-year deal, and King envisions everyone reaching a point where they're comfortable with the numbers and Wallace returns to the fold.

"I told him in his (exit) meeting that he deserves a multi-year deal," King said. "When we can we will. I mean obviously he's a big part of it, and his reality being 30 years old, this is probably one of his last chances to get a nice contract."

With another nine players potentially entering free agency (backup point guard Jordan Farmar wields a player option; center Brook Lopez is restricted; the other seven are unrestricted), King cited Williams, Wallace, Lopez, Humphries and NBA D-League callup Gerald Green as core pieces to build around. If all return, they would join Anthony Morrow, MarShon Brooks, Jordan Williams and Johan Petro to form next season's squad.

King said the Brooklyn move has made his job easier, the reality of a new logo and nearly complete arena replacing the abstract "We'll be there" in conversations. Despite the amount of attention likely to be focused on the franchise in its first season in a new location, King claimed to feel no pressure, because his job is to produce a winner for owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

"You don't want to be in the position where there's no expectations," King said. "People say, 'Is there pressure because Mikhail said we're gonna win a championship in five years?' No – that's a great goal; I'd rather have an owner saying that than 'Don't lose me money.' You know? There's some guys who own teams, all they care about is that they don't want to lose money; we've got one that wants to win a championship. It's my job to try to help get the pieces and help Avery and try to do it for him."


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