The Brooklyn Nets are the NBA’s worst team by a mile and because of a terrible trade with the Boston Celtics a few years ago, things aren’t going to be improving any time soon. That said, there is money to be made on Nets games.
The most lopsided trade in NFL history had to be the Herschel Walker deal on Oct. 12, 1989, as the Dallas Cowboys sent running back Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for players and a bounty of draft picks. Some of the players the Cowboys got from those picks were running back Emmitt Smith, defensive tackle Russell Maryland, cornerback Kevin Smith and safety Darren Woodson. All magnificent players, with Smith in the conversation as best running back ever.
The worst trade in baseball history was the Boston Red Sox sending someone named Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees on Dec. 26, 1919, for $125,000. What ever happened to that guy?
I mention those two deals because it’s quite possible that the worst trade in NBA history could eventually be the one that went down on July 12, 2013. Former Nets general manager Billy King acquired Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and D.J. White from the Celtics in exchange for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Keith Bogans and the Nets’ unprotected first-round draft picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018. The Celtics also received the right to swap first-rounders with the Nets in 2017.
King was under a mandate to win a championship from Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov so you can’t solely blame King, but wow was that a mistake. KG and Pierce are future Hall of Famers, but they were on the downside of their careers then. The Nets never got past the East semifinals with them, and now their future is gone. As is King. The 76ers got some good young talent by tanking, but the Nets can’t even do that without owning their first-round pick until 2019.
Brooklyn has the worst record in the NBA by far at 9-41 and is 21-27-3 against the spread on NBA odds. The Nets have lost nine in a row and 20 of 21 and haven’t even won at home yet in 2017. Things are so broken that on Sunday before facing the visiting Toronto Raptors, a prompter failed when a singer was performing the Canadian national anthem. Amber Iman, a member of the national touring cast of the Broadway hit "Hamilton," couldn't remember the lyrics and improvised. Among the ad-libs, she substituted "We sing our hearts for thee" for the thrice repeated, "We stand on guard for thee."
Naturally, the Nets also lost, 103-95. It was their 12th straight defeat at the Barclays Center, which reportedly is going to evict the NHL’s Islanders after the 2018-19 season. The Nets are safe from that fate only because Prokhorov also owns the arena. Brooklyn is also one of the worst ATS home plays this season at 10-17 on NBA picks.
That’s not to say you should stay away from betting Nets games. They are last in the NBA in defense so are often a wise choice on betting the ‘over’ – Brooklyn is 27-24 O/U on the season, including 16-8 on the road. In addition, because the team is so bad you might see some of the better teams decide to rest a key guy or two when facing the Nets, assuming they can still win the game.
Brooklyn has only been favored twice in a game this season and failed to cover either of those. It’s hard to see a game the rest of the way where the Nets will be favored again – unless facing a team without some key guys. They won’t be favored this week at all. Brooklyn visits Charlotte on Tuesday before hosting Washington on Wednesday and Miami on Friday. The Hornets have taken two of three vs. the Nets this season and have won the past three home meetings, while the Nets are 0-2 vs. the Wizards and 0-2 vs. the Heat.
Ah well, at least New Yorkers have the Knicks. Oh yeah … never mind.