This has been the biggest in franchise history for the Nets. Certainly their historic relocation has generated headlines but even from a pure basketball perspective the team has been very active. Let's take a look at the Top 5 off-season storylines:
#5 – The NBA Draft – This year's NBA Draft was an afterthought for most Nets fans. With no draft picks until late in the second round, the Nets off-season focus was squarely on the free agent/trade market. That said, fans and basketball pundits cheered when the Nets acquired the draft rights of Tyshawn Taylor, the point guard who helped lead Kansas to this year's NCCA Tournament Championship game where they lost to Kentucky. The Nets also drafted two unknown European players – Tornike Shenglia of Georgia (the country) and Ilkan Karaman of Turkey.
#4 – Joe Johnson trade – The biggest acquisition for the black-and-white this offseason was six time NBA All Star Joe Johnson. The Nets gave up a number of young players to Atlanta for Johnson, who should emerge as one of the league's top scorers now that he is playing alongside Deron Williams. He also adds star power and experience to a roster that was lacking in both after missing out on the Dwight Howard sweepstakes. By trading for Johnson rather than Howard the team was able to keep their core, including Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and Brook Lopez, intact giving them greater depth heading into the season.
#3 – Dwight Howard traded to Los Angeles – Arguably the biggest storyline of this NBA off-season was Dwight Howard. Rumored to be traded to no fewer than 3 teams including Brooklyn, the Nets pulled themselves out of the race when it became clear that the asking price from the Magic, Howard's former team, was too high. Once the Nets were out, the Lakers completed a 4-team blockbuster deal for Howard bringing the superstar to LA. Missing out on Howard will certainly be looked back on as one of the biggest decisions in Nets history – whether good or bad remains to be seen.
#2 – Deron Williams stays with Nets, wins Olympic gold – The Nets needed to keep their superstar point guard, Deron Williams, on the squad as they moved to Brooklyn and they did just that. Despite hot pursuit from his hometown team, the Dallas Mavericks, Williams decided to remain with the Nets. Coming to Brooklyn was a smart decision by Williams as his fame will reach new heights playing in the Barclays Center. After inking a 5 year deal for $98.7 million, Williams went to London and won his second gold medal with the USA men's basketball team. It was a good summer for D-Will.
#1 – Franchise relocates to Brooklyn – This story needs no retelling. We all know the details. With the Barclays Center nearing completion, billboards posted across the borough and Brooklyn Nets hats and t-shirts on every sidewalk, we all know the team has arrived. Love it or hate it, Brooklyn has a pro sports team again for the first time since the Dodgers left town.