So the trade is complete, I suppose. After parting ways with GM Billy King in 2007, the Sixers hired ex-Net GM Ed Stefanski. And now, after releasing GM Rod Thorn from his duties, the Nets have gone and given King another go at it. Let the battle for Eastern Conference supremacy--and by supremacy, of course, I mean either the post-season seventh seed or the third-from-the-bottom lottery pick--begin.
King served as the Sixers' purse-string-holder for a full decade, hired by Pat Croce in 1998 and lasting all the way through 2007. Some of King's coups while running the front-office point include turning draft disappointment Tim Thomas into defensive-minded forward Tyrone Hill in '99, and swapping a gimpy Theo Ratliff for dominant paint presence Dikembe Mutombo for the '01 title run. Some of King's forgettable moments include...well, just about everything that came after that finals season, most notably failing to recoup any real young talent to rebuild around from the deal that jettisoned Allen Iverson to Denver (though at least we did get Andre Miller out of it, actually improving the team in the short-term).
King is hired by crazy Russian jet-skiing billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov to help guide the Nets back out of the cellar, after a year that saw them flirt with the not-good kind of history by winning only 12 games. With their cap space and decent young talent (point guard Devin Harris, swingman Terrence Williams, center Brook Lopez), many considered the Nets one of the primary players in the recent Free Agency free-for-all, but they came up empty on all of the big names, and have been forced to suffice themselves with smaller pick-ups, like athletic forward Travis Outlaw, long-range bomber Anthony Morrow, and lightning bug point-runner Jordan Farmar.
Congrats on the new gig, Billy. We here at the Level wish our former General Manager nothing but the highest level of unintentional comedy possible throughout his stay in Newark.