The 12-70 New Jersey Nets were the laughing stock of the 2009-2010 NBA season. However, I have the solution to their troubles. It involves four important things: a ping pong ball on May 18th, some grease, a dinosaur and a king’s crown…

AP PHOTO ED REINKE

Rewind back to 2003, the Nets were one of the premiere teams in the Eastern Conference. From 2001 until 2006, the Nets were constantly in the mix for the NBA Title, but always ran into either Kobe/Shaq or Timmy Duncan in the NBA Finals. Led by Jason Kidd, the Nets were one of the most respected clubs in the league.

If we fast forward to 2010, the 12-70 Nets were the laughing stock of the league. They could barely draw 1,000 fans to their games and even tried to bribe fans by offering Free Tax Returns during a March game. Talking to their accountants was probably more entertaining than the action on the court.

But will the Nets gets the last laugh???

Time to kick my plan into action…

#1 Pray, Hope, and Pray Some More that the Nets land the #1 Draft Pick:

Kentucky point guard, John Wall is the consensus #1 Pick for this year’s NBA Draft. He is also the key to the Nets’ future. The 6’4″ Wall has a rare blend of speed and power needed to excel in the NBA. Wall was the engine within Kentucky’s car, averaging 16.6 points per game and 6.5 assists per game. With such a talented core around him including soon-to-be first round picks, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe, Wall did not have to do a ton of scoring. He does have the ability to score a lot of points, dropping 25 points against Connecticut early in the season. Wall is lightning-quick with great court vision. He has garnered comparisons to Bulls’ guard and 2008 #1 draft pick, Derrick Rose.  Given his skill set, Wall is arguably the most-hyped player since LeBron James was in 2003.

Since the Nets had the NBA’s worst record in 2009-2010, they have a 25% chance of landing the #1 overall pick on May 18th. As Dave Lubich pointed out earlier this year, since 2001, the league’s worst team has only landed the #1 pick twice. The ping pong balls would have to bounce their way next week…

If they do land Wall, it will make current point guard, Devin Harris expendable. Harris averaged 16.9 PPG with 6.6 APG last year. Harris is owed an average of $8 million per season over the next three years, so his contract is very movable.

Given the trend of other #1 pick money, Wall would likely ink a five-year deal in the neighborhood of $30 million or so. The addition of Wall and subtraction of Harris would put the Nets at $18 million committed to players for 2010-2011. This year’s cap was at $57 million and will probably shift upwards by a few million for next season. The Nets will have the ability to offer two max contracts.

#2 Re-Unite Coach John Calipari With The Nets

I don’t trust John Calipari. He’s the only coach in NCAA history to have multiple Final Four appearances negated at multiple schools. However, the guy knows how to coach talented players. His Kentucky Wildcats were within the Top 5 of the Coach’s and AP Poll for the majority of the season. He also won 253 games during nine seasons at Memphis, transforming the Tigers into one of the nation’s most respected basketball programs.

Professionally, Calipari coached the Nets from 1996-1998. His 71-115 record with the club isn’t anything to write home about, but he did take the Nets to the playoffs in 1997. Even though they were swept out of the first round by Michael Jordan’s Bulls, Calipari was able to effectively manage Keith Van Horn and Lucious Harris. Imagine what he could do with LeBron James, John Wall, Brook Lopez, and others?

Current coach/general manager, Kiki Vandeweghe led the Nets to a 12-52 record and coaching is obviously not his forte. The team made an attempt to steal Coach K away from Cameron, but they never stood a chance. Grabbing the greasy Calipari from Kentucky would be much easier. However, the team must have John Wall in the fold first!

Calipari has never balked at big time money and I doubt he’d start now if he was offered this job. He did say that Kentucky was his dream job, but it’d be any coach’s dream to coach the team I have assembled.

While he was at Memphis, Calipari molded current Nets forward, Chris Douglas-Roberts into one of the better college players of 2008. Those successful collegiate results have not translated in the pros(9.8 PPG, 3 RPG). Calipari would help CDR get back on the right track and transform him into a good sixth man.

If the Nets have a new arena ready to open in 2012, John Wall, Coach Calipari, and roughly $40 million to play with;

What could possibly happen next????

#3 Sign LeBron James and Chris Bosh

Wow. Let’s just think about this for a second.

The Nets starting line-up?
PG- John Wall
SG- Courtney Lee
SF- LeBron James
PF- Chris Bosh
C- Brook Lopez
The Nets would instantly transform into the East’s best team.

If you go back and read this article about NBA salaries, max contracts for players in their 7th-9th seasons in the league come in at a maximum value of $20.97 million per season. The Nets are one of the only teams that has the ability to sign two max free agents and have a few team options that they can choose not to pick up.

Let’s start with Chris Bosh. Bosh finished this season averaging 24 points and roughly 11 rebounds per contest with the Raptors. Everyone likes dinosaurs, but this man is ready to move on and win. Bosh has never made it past the first round of the playoffs. Pairing him with Lopez(18.8 PPG, 8.6 RPG) and James(29.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 8.6 APG) would easily create the league’s best front court. Bosh has been under-rated for his entire career and he’s ready to show the world why he’s one of the best players in the league. Now on to The King.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have failed. LeBron James has done everything in his power to win a championship. Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams are nice players, but not the pieces LeBron needs to win. He has given Cleveland his heart and soul. He shouldn’t have any regrets when he leaves….Which leads me to this point…

LeBron James, John Calipari, and John Wall are all amidst a love triangle. LeBron came to Kentucky basketball games this season. LeBron has a good ‘relationship’ with John Wall and wants to sign him to his public relations firm. Even though he didn’t attend college, LeBron James helps Calipari recruit for Kentucky. Calipari recruited and has molded John Wall into a pro-ready point guard. Let’s just cut to the chase and unite all three of them together in New Jersey this season while the finishing touches are put on Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center.

The final piece to the puzzle? Mogul rapper, entrepreneur, part-owner of the Nets, Jay-Z, is very good friends with LeBron James. Image the sponsorship deals that would be possible for the duo in New York.

All of this seems way too good to be true. And it might be. Brooklyn is building one of the nicest arenas in the world for the Nets. New York is begging for LeBron James. However, New York must have the right pieces in order to land him. Ultimately, it will come down to the Cavs and Nets. (The Knicks just don’t have anything to offer him). But if John Wall, Jay-Z and John Calipari are waiting with open arms in NYC, it just may be the match that saves the Nets and shifts the power in the NBA.

Derek Jeter owns the Bronx. The Dolan Family has Manhattan. Johan Santana and Co. run Queens. It’s time for James’ and friends to take over Brooklyn…

The ping pong balls just need to bounce the Nets way for it all to be possible….

Hey, LeBron is a Yankee fan too!!