The Nets Are the Center of the Basketball Universe

July 3, 2012 12:00 AM

The Nets Are the Center of the Basketball Universe

" When Mikhail Prokhorov bought the Nets, he made a lot of noise about championship aspirations.

His first couple of years owning the team made him sound like a billionaire blowhard who didn't know the first thing about basketball. Shut out by desirable free agents, Prokhorov just bought whatever was on the market and got the results you deserve for signing Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw and Johan Petro.

Things appear to be changing as the team makes its way to Brooklyn. The Nets secured shooting guard Joe Johnson in a trade Monday, they remain hot on the trail of Dwight Howard and Deron Williams' return to the team feels closer as a result of both moves.

Johnson comes with some baggage, namely the worst contract in professional sports, which will pay him nearly 90 million over the next four seasons and make him the highest paid player in the NBA in 2015-16. That's outrageous for a player who should be, at best, the second-best player on your team.

Having said that, he's a very good player who will help the Nets immensely by spreading the floor and knocking down shots down the stretches of games "

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