Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has already failed to deliver on its promise of an NBA championship within five years of taking control of the franchise and decided to press the reset button Sunday morning.
Armed with the sixth highest salary in the league, with a team payroll of $90.6 million this season, Brooklyn is off to a 10-27 start.
“After careful consideration, I’ve concluded that it’s time for a fresh start and a new vision for the direction of the team,” Prokhorov said in a statement. “By making this decision now, it enables our organization to use the rest of the season to diligently evaluate candidates with proven track records. It’s clear from our current state of affairs that we need new leadership.”
Only Philadelphia, a team intentionally tanking to inherit the best chances of landing a superstar in the NBA Draft, has a worse record.
The Nets don’t even have the caveat of landing a potential franchise caliber player this summer, as Boston owns the rights to Brooklyn’s selection due to a trade involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, two players no longer on the team.
Stability has been an issue for the franchise, especially at the coaching position.
Center Brook Lopez, the longest tenured player on the team, has been with the team since being selected with the 10th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft and has played for eight different coaches.
Assistant coach Tony Brown has been appointed interim coach for the remainder of the season but the team is trying to lure Kentucky coach John Calipari not only back into the NBA, but back with the Nets following his successful run with the Wildcats.
Calipari had previously spent three seasons with the organization, while the team played in New Jersey, and complied a record of 72-112 with the team. The Nets qualified for the playoffs once in three seasons under Calipari, but were swept in the opening round by Chicago in 1998.
Rebuilding the Nets franchise will be a struggle, as the team doesn’t own its draft selection until 2019, as the Celtics either select in place of Brooklyn, or can opt to swap draft positions for the next four years.
Brooklyn began another restructuring of the franchise Sunday afternoon and Prokhorov is preaching patience from his fan base.
“To our fans, I thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support and please know that brighter days are ahead,” Prokhorov said. “I’m excited to begin the process of choosing the best GM and head coach available.”
Ian Mahinmi– Indiana Pacers
Available in 75% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues
The last three games have seen Mahinimi produce at the level of an elite center. The 29-year-old has averaged 12.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Friday against New Orleans, Mahinimi submitted perhaps his best outing of the season, totaling 17 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Indiana has given Mahinimi plenty of minutes and he has responded by producing career-highs in scoring, rebounds, assists and blocks.
Chris Johnson– Utah Jazz
Available in 99% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues
Sunday was a very important day for Johnson, as his contract became fully guaranteed by the Jazz. Johnson started his first game of the season Saturday against Miami, and he converted 6-of-9 shots from the field, connected on 2-of-3 shots from 3-point range as he totaled 14 points, four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. The Jazz are desperate for production at the shooting guard position, as Alec Burks is out for the year and Rodney Hood is nursing an ankle injury.
Stanley Johnson– Detroit Pistons
Available in 67% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues
An injury to Marcus Morris allowed Johnson to earn his first career start Saturday against the Nets. In each of his past three games, Johnson has spent at least 23 minutes on the floor, allowing him to showcase his wide array of skills. Over the past three games, Johnson has averaged 8.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game. The low shooting percentage of Johnson, as he is shooting just 37.7 percent from the field, should prompt fantasy owners to move on if he struggles producing elsewhere.
Mario Chalmers– Memphis Grizzlies
Available in 82% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues
Injuries to Mike Conley and Courtney Lee have opened up additional minutes for Chalmers in Memphis and he has been able to capitalize on his opportunity. In each of the past three games, the former Kansas star has spent at least 33 minutes on the floor while producing an average of 14.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Sunday against the Celtics, he struggled to find his shot, but was able to prop up his scoring production by earning 13 trips to the free throw line.
Donald Sloan– Brooklyn Nets
Available in 95% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues
The Nets are auditioning point guards ever since Jarrett Jack tore his ACL last week, and Sloan has taken control of the position. Brooklyn had been starting Shane Larkin at point guard, but his poor play has paved the way for more minutes for Sloan. Saturday against the Pistons, Sloan began the second half with the starting unit and he produced a double-double, posting 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field along with 10 assists and two rebounds in 24 minutes. The excellent play of Sloan may not have secured the starting job, but likely forced a timeshare at the point guard position in Brooklyn.