Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 6/4/12

The Brooklyn Nets had a simple plan. Acquire a star player like Deron Williams, sell him on the move to Brooklyn and the all-star, mega-billionaire ownership of Mikhail Prokhorov and Jay-Z, and then work on acquiring a second superstar player to make the move to the Barclays Center complete. That task was accomplished by clearing out enough cap space to have only $9.4 million committed toward 2013 if every eligible player declines his option.

Billy King did some masterful cap work.

The only problem was that Deron Williams never committed to signing a new deal (really unless the Nets do bring in that second star) and Dwight Howard, rumored to have favored Brooklyn throughout his whole indecision, opted into the final year of his contract and is not available for Brooklyn to bring in this year. The Nets' last chance (perhaps) to get Dwight Howard passed when they lost out on the top overall pick and the chance of giving Orlando the next Dwight Howard in exchange for the current one.

With dreams of making the move to New York in grand style, the Nets are not likely to sit on that cap room, Williams or not. Brooklyn already is rumored to have interest in Kevin Garnett (reportedly also contemplating retirement) and Ersan Ilyasova while still holding out hope of putting together a package to bring Howard into their new burrough.

Goal one (and two) is to resign Deron Williams. To borrow from Reggie Jackson, he is the straw that stirs the drink for the Nets and the guy they want to build around. And for the first time since acquiring Williams and developing this aggressive plan to make the Nets a star in their first season in Brooklyn, the Nets are on the defensive.

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