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2003-2004 Los Angeles Lakers and the future of the Nets 
Posted on June 29, 2013 at 03:39 AM.

Its pushing 2 AM as I type this, but insomnia is looming and so I'm here passing time. While I spent most of today checking out videos about the three new additions to the Atlanta Hawks, a lot of people are still talking about this trade.

So I'll put in my two cents. Now before I go in, be aware I am not trying to compare the talent of the players on these two teams, just comparing the similar situation these franchises are/were in and how history may repeat itself.

So who were the 03-04 Lakers? They were the team that put two aging stars with two stars in the middle of their primes and went on to reach the finals and lose 4-1 to the Detroit Pistons. During the 2003 offseason two great players in Gary Payton and Karl Malone signed on to go for a title with Kobe and Shaq. After a great run leading to a rough end the team dismantled, Karl retiring at 40 and Gary left for Boston to begin to wind down his career. The Lakers went on to have a rough 04-05 campaign and drafted Andrew Bynum with the 10th overall pick in the 05 draft.

So what does this have to do with the Nets? Well they just brought in two aging stars, but unlike the Lakers they gave up their future in three picks that could be valuable in a rebuild process in the distant future. Boston receives the 2014,2016, and 2018 first round picks from Brooklyn, the later two being unprotected. So to try and gauge what those picks mean, look at the Lakers first round picks after that 2004 season.

2005 Pick #10 Andrew Bynum
2006 Pick #26 Jordan Farmar
2007 Pick #19 Javaris Crittenton
2008 Pick #28 Donte Greene
2009 Pick #29 Tony Douglas
2010 Pick #28 Greivis Vasquez

So obviously the Lakers were able to put together a playoff team after one lottery season and went on to have several lower picks. So the difference is how the Nets future looks. KG and Pierce are unlikely to play more than one or two more years, however with JJ and Brook tied up until 2016 as well as Deron through 2017, the Nets will not have much room to bring in talent through FA and the lack of picks will come back to hurt them as well. Deron Williams will be 33 and Joe Johnson 35 at the end of their contracts, so by 2016, the Nets could very well be tied up with players not producing to the worth of the money they earn and waiting to start a rebuild process.

To sum it up, with the result of the Lakers in 2004 in mind, the Nets will start the 2013-14 season going for an all out push to get a title and after it could be a while before that chance returns. The Celtics will be in a rebuild state for the next few years and with their picks they will receive for the Clippers and Nets as well as their own, they could be on their way with a bright future by 2016. Neither team has won this trade yet. Those who are quick to call the Nets the winner should return to the big trade from last summer and remember that most saw the Lakers the winner, but with the Dwight decision looming, Iggy testing free agency and the Sixers heading into a rebuild mode themselves, the Magic seem to be better off then the other recipients in that trade. The Nets get one, possibly two good chances at a title and the Celtics are set for the future.

Thanks for reading and welcome to silly season.
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