Billy King Looks Back On Tenure With Nets

Former Nets GM Billy King, who is widely blamed for turning the organization into a perennial loser with no lottery picks, tells his side of the story in an interview with The Glue Guys, a Nets-themed podcast.

King touches on several controversial issues in the 45-minute session, including an effort to acquire Chris Paul, the failure to get Dwight Howard when he wanted to join the Nets and the ill-fated trade that sent three unprotected first-rounders to Boston for a package centered around veterans Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett.

The highlights:

  • King tried to get Paul from New Orleans before dealing with Utah for Deron Williams. King believed he was making progress, but the deal went cold after Jeff Bowers was replaced as GM by Dell Demps. “At that time, I don’t think Dell wanted his first thing to be trading Chris Paul,” King said.
  • The Nets believed they were close to acquiring Howard from Orlando just before the 2012 trade deadline. “We went to bed as a staff — we left the office pretty late — we went to bed pretty much knowing that tomorrow we’re going to get Dwight,” King said. Magic GM Otis Smith had planned to finalize the deal the next morning, but King woke up to a text saying that Howard had elected to opt in for the following season. King reached out to Howard’s agent, who responded, “I don’t think he did,” and even Smith hadn’t heard the news when King called him. However, Smith returned the call an hour later and confirmed the news.
  • The Nets responded by trading their 2012 first-round pick to Portland in exchange for Gerald Wallace in an attempt to appease Williams and discourage him from opting out over the summer. The Blazers used that pick to draft Damian Lillard.
  • King reached out to the Celtics in 2013 because he thought he had a talented nucleus that needed veteran leadership and was interested in acquiring Pierce. Negotiations led to Garnett and Jason Terry being included and the package of picks going to Boston.
  • King made an offer to Pierce in the summer of 2014, but he got a better deal from Washington and the Nets decided not to match it. “Once that decision was made, I think it changed our thought process,” King said. “I think some of the players even thought, ‘What’s going on here? We were committed and now we’re not.” King added that he wouldn’t have made the deal with Boston if he knew he couldn’t keep Pierce longer than one season.
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10 thoughts on “Billy King Looks Back On Tenure With Nets

  1. dodgerfan711

    It just mind boggling that someone basically traded 3 unprotected 1st round picks for players well over 30.

  2. TheZink

    His first move as a GM was to draft Larry Hughes over Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki ….. and it was all down hill from there.

    He should be stricken from the GM roles and his name never spoken again, unless of course the
    Knicks want to hire him.

    • xscalabr

      At least he traded for Pierce…. but it was that one infamous trade that shall never be mentioned any further

  3. Ezra77

    When trying to win now goes horribly wrong LMAO. GOD BLESS THIS MAN he was basically the Celtics GM the way he helped them out LMAO

  4. SD Speak For Myself

    Never complain and never explain dude! He was inept! Who is worst GM ever? Matt Millen is up there! King should go away and STFU!

  5. Reflect

    So his defense for being a terrible GM was a list of more terrible moves he almost made?

  6. basicmo

    well that’s how he gm’d Philly to be mediocre and all this time I thought ownership made move to give up all those picks boston but actually it was the incompetent BILLY KING

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