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Billy King, New Jersey Nets' New GM, Has Learned From Past Mistakes

The New Jersey Nets can only hope Billy King, the team's new general manager, practices what he was preaching during his introductory press conference Thursday. King was formerly president and GM in Philadelphia.

"In Philly, we tried to do a lot of things quickly," he said. "In this league if you do some things and it doesn’t work, you’re punished for a while. I think I’m going to be a little more patient and not be as quick to make a quick decision to do things. You can’t take short cuts. I’m going to be patient and do things the right way."

The Nets are still approximately $14 million under the NBA salary cap. King says he won't run right out and spend new owner Mikhail Prokhorov's money.

We’ll spend some time thinking. I’m not anxious to jump in and spend the money. So if there are agents out there, it’s not an open check book. We’re going to be prudent about it. I’m anxious to speak with Avery and Rod and see the direction they’ve been going. We’ll try to move but we’re going to move smart. We’re not going to make any rash decisions."

That is probably the right approach. The Nets are not going to be contending for an NBA title soon, so maintaining roster flexibility and avoiding bad contracts will be critical to the team's long-term success. Just ask the cross-town New York Knicks how hard it is to get out from under when you keep throwing good money after bad.

[ Wednesday the Nets introduced the various new players they have added to the roster. Read Rodger Sherman's report on that.]