EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Jason Kidd's gone and the New Jersey Nets missed the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons.
Expect president Rod Thorn to shake things up even more in the offseason.
Coach Lawrence Frank appears safe after the Nets finished a 34-48 season on Wednesday night with a loss in Boston. There also doesn't seem to be any way that the Nets would deal either Vince Carter (21.3 points) or Devin Harris (14.8 points).
After that, Thorn might do anything to return New Jersey to respectability after a season that saw him trade an unhappy Kidd to Dallas in February in an eight-player deal that gave New Jersey its point guard of the future, Harris.
The player who might most be affected is forward Richard Jefferson. The six-year veteran averaged a career-best 22.6 points, and he seems to be the most marketable player on the team.
Just last year, the Nets thought about trading him to Indiana for Jermaine O'Neal.
``What's going to happen is going to happen,'' Jefferson said. ``I have been here a long time. My name has been thrown out and whatever happens, happens.''
Second-year point guard Marcus Williams, who battled a foot injury this season, also might be moved.
The last time the Nets were in this situation was 2000-01, when they missed the playoff with a 26-56 record.
Thorn engineered a major trade for Kidd that summer and the Nets went all the way to the NBA Finals each of the next two seasons.
``It's extremely disappointing in that I think individually and collectively we are very determined that this will never happen again,'' Frank said. ``In the NBA, it's all about the postseason. Sometimes you have a take a step back to take a couple of steps forward, which is what we are doing this year.''
While they have talent, the Nets need a lot of help after a season of split personalities.
With Kidd in the lineup in the first half of the year, the Nets were one of the NBA's lowest scoring teams. After the trade, they could score with anyone.
The common trait in both halves was their inability to play defense, which was until this season one of the team's strengths.
``We became allergic to it,'' Frank said, noting the Nets have to find that middle ground where they can play uptempo and still get back and guard people.
The Nets biggest defensive weakness is in the middle. Center Nenad Krstic looked rusty coming off major knee surgery. He needed this season to get back in shape.
Josh Boone played well in his second season and rookie Sean Williams showed flashes before ending the season with limited playing time. All three, however, did not provide a presence in the middle on defense.
The Nets bench also did not have much depth this season with forward Bostjan Nachbar (9.8 points) providing the only consistent play despite a back problem.
``There are no excuses,'' Frank said. ``We just did not get the job done this year. We will do better next year.''
Harris, who was the key player for the Nets in the Kidd trade, felt the team did not have enough time to gel after the trade. New Jersey was 11-18 after the deal on Feb. 20.
``There is always change,'' Harris said of the possibility of more trades. ``That's part of the NBA. I think the core we have is special and that's what we have to look forward to.''
The Nets will have three picks in the NBA draft, including two first rounders - their own pick (No. 10 heading into the lottery) and No. 21, which they got from Dallas in the trade. New Jersey also will have the 40th pick overall.
Advertisement
Advertisement

Top NBA Public Bets

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Tim Duncan retires The San Antonio Spurs lost their franchise player on Monday, as Tim Duncan elected to retire after an amazing 19-year...
Thumbnail Rockets give Harden an extension The Houston Rockets locked up their star player for years to come, announcing an extension with James Harden on...
Thumbnail OKC's title odds plummet without Durant Following the announcement that Kevin Durant will be signing with the Golden State Warriors, the Oklahoma City Thunder's NBA title...
Thumbnail Durant heading to Golden State The shoe finally dropped in the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, as he has elected to sign with the Golden State Warriors for next...
Thumbnail Warriors now 2/3 to win title with Durant The Golden State Warriors were already favored to win the 2017 NBA Finals championship, but their odds improved even more after...
More inNBA Articles  
Advertisement

NBA Team Pages