Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 4/13/12
New_jersey_nets_ff13

Earlier this week, Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov was in Brooklyn touring his team's still-under-construction stadium and getting a lay of the land as the NBA's Board of Governors get set to officially vote on the name change for the Nets and give the final OK for the team's move from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

This has not been the season Prokhorov likely wanted when he bought the Nets. New Jersey is going to miss the Playoffs for the fifth straight year and sit at 21-38. Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire who is entertaining a run for president, is not used to this kind of futility.

More than that, Prokhorov had big dreams. He dreamed of pairing Deron Williams with free-agent-to-be Dwight Howard to open his new stadium and make his team a force and title contender -- something the Nets have not REALLY been since Julius Erving was playing except for that run with Jason Kidd, Kenyon Martin and Richard Jefferson in the lineup.

Howard, obviously, opted to remain with the Magic for another year and sent the Nets into limbo.

That is because Deron Williams too wants to win. He is one of the best point guards in the league and a dynamic player that can make just about any talented team better. The problem is, New Jersey is not that talented of a team. Since the Nets acquired Williams, they are 28-56 -- a .333 win percentage. That is not what Williams envisioned after the trade.

And patience for a player about to hit free agency can only take you so far. With Brook Lopez injured for almost the entire season and the team's failure to acquire Dwight Howard, Williams will hit free agency this summer.

Bad things happen in threes, it seems, for New Jersey.

Prokhorov though met with Williams while he was in town and the two understand they both have the same goals.

"I think he wants to win, and he wants to be part of a great franchise," Prokhorov told the Associated Press. "We have the same view on this."

No doubt, this is generally the view all players and owners have for their teams. They all want to win and do whatever it takes to get there.

For the Nets to get there might take a little bit more though. Undoubtedly, New Jersey needs Deron Williams in the fold to have a measure of star power for the team's new building and to attract other stars to Brooklyn. Williams has been great for the team too, averaging 21.2 points per game and 8.6 assists per game despite the team's awful record.

The thing is, New jersey may not be able to convince Williams that a long-term investment in Brooklyn is his best way to get wins.

His hometown Mavericks are lurking with enough cap room to bring him back to the Lone Star State. That is even with Mikhail Prokhorov jokingly telling Mark Cuban that he will beat him in a kickboxing match if he wins this contest -- "Let the best man win,'' Prokhorov said of being challenged by Cuban. "If he wins, I will crush him in the kickboxing throw down."

The allure of a franchise that has a winning track record -- two Finals appearances, the 2011 championship and 11 consecutive 50-win seasks -- might be too much for Williams to resist if he is indeed about winning.

The Nets squarely have their eyes on the summer with this season already lost. What Williams does will hold the team somewhat hostage.

What the Nets do have going for them is a chance to clear the decks some. They have only $9.4 million committed to next season if every player declines his option. This number does not include player options that Shawne Williams and Jordan Farmar can exercise next year or the qualifying offers they can offer Brook Lopez or Sundiata Gaines. Nor might it include the potential top three pick New Jersey could get in the Draft Lottery -- Portland receives the pick if it is not in the top three as part of the Gerald Wallace deal.

Even if New Jersey loses Williams, they definitely will be players for whatever free agent they want to pursue.

The Nets may not have the splash they want -- with or without Williams -- for the Barclays Center opener. But the Nets might have their chance to bring the focus on winning in the very near future.

[follow]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Kevin Durant says he never told Russell Westbrook he was staying in OKC

God Shammgod hired by Mavericks as player development assistant

Soccer player terminates contract after being attacked by stray dogs

Todd Bowles confirms Ryan Fitzpatrick is Jets starting QB: ‘It’s his job’

Carmelo Anthony shocked Dwyane Wade left Miami for Chicago

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Hue Jackson: Browns will give Josh Gordon a fresh start

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker