Sam Hinkie is a nerd. Sam Hinkie is a scam artist. Scam Hinkie is a fraud. Even if all of these were true (the first one is), there’s one pure positive: Sam Hinkie is not Billy King.
After spending years flailing around, unable to build an actual team around Allen Iverson – and sure, some of that falls on AI, but a small amount – Billy King went balls to the wall in Brooklyn and completely decimated any future they had with a few deals. He was just fired or he stepped down or whatever, and the Nets are reportedly favoring Bryan Colangelo in their GM search. I’ll let this one opinion from the RealGM forums give you a little insight into that, from “Is Billy King the worst GM in league history?”:
“Nope. Gotta be [Bryan] Colangelo.
[in response]: Nets are in the worst situation from the whole league. Colangelo ruined the Raptors for a few years in advance. Billy King ruined the Nets for a half, I’d say even a decade in advance.”
The Sixers will have at least three first round picks this year, maybe four. The Nets’ fourth first-round-pick, starting now, comes in 2022. How did he ruin the Nets’ future so quickly? Through some of the most garbage trades ever, resulting solely in keeping the Nets in the middle until the guys he traded for were gone.
- King traded Derrick Favors, Devin Harris, Troy Murphy, and two Future 1st round picks for Deron Williams and Brandan Wright in 2011.
- Those two picks became Enes Kanter and Gorgui Dieng.
- In 2012, they signed Deron Williams to a max contract.
- This August, the Nets waived Williams, costing them $27.5 Million over next 5 years.
- King traded Shawne Williams, Mehmet Okur and a first round pick to Portland for Gerald Wallace.
- That pick, #6 overall (top 3 protected), turned into Damian Lillard.
- King later signed Wallace to a $40 million contract.
- King traded Jordan Farmer, Anthony Morrow, and three others, a first round draft pick, and the rights to swap a future first round draft pick for Joe Johnson.
- King doesn’t believe in first round draft picks (current Net Shane Larkin was selected with that pick), and traded for Johnson, who was on one of the NBA’s worst contracts at the time.
- Johnson, at least a positive for King, is still in Brooklyn.
- Remember Gerald Wallace above? One year after signing him to a $40 million deal, King traded Wallace, Kris Humphries, others, and 3 unprotected first-round draft picks, plus the ability to swap another draft pick, for Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, and DJ White.
- Pierce left after one season, Jason Terry was traded (with Reggie Evans) for Marcus Thornton a year later, and DJ White was a throw in.
In a trade you can’t really blame King for, he tossed in a second round pick which became Draymond Green. That’s just rough luck.
After all the other players from those deals were gone (except Jarrett Jack who came in return for Marcus Thornton, who came in return for Jason Terry), King traded Kevin Garnett straight up for Thad Young. The Nets got those players to win a championship. They didn’t, so Thad is their only result. The flowchart for that doesn’t look great:
After dealing Thad and then dealing what he got in return, Sam Hinkie has turned the current Net into two first round picks (OKC’s and MIA’s). Those are two very different strategies at work.
Through Billy King’s dealings, here’s a list of picks the Nets no longer own:
- 2016 First
- 2016 Second
- 2017 First (pick swap)
- 2017 Second
- 2018 First
- 2018 Second
- 2019 Second
- 2020 Second
They do have the potential for Boston’s 2017 second (and two seconds they got for Jason Kidd), so it’s not all bad.
Whenever you look at the crowded Hinkie/Colangelo front office, remember it could always be worse. Billy King failed at building a decent team around Allen Iverson, and that wasn’t even his biggest shortcoming as GM. It’s almost impressive, and it’ll be even more impressive if he ever gets another job.