Nets get 6th pick, but come up empty-handed

Nets general manager Billy King speaks to the

Nets general manager Billy King speaks to the media in 2007, when he was GM of the Philadelphia 76ers. (Sept. 28, 2007) (Credit: AP)

If the Nets are going to somehow land Dwight Howard this summer, their chances of doing so probably didn't improve a whole lot Wednesday night.

In one of the first major dominoes to fall in what's surely an extremely important offseason as they complete their move to Brooklyn, the Nets were awarded the sixth pick at the NBA draft lottery, meaning they won't be keeping their selection. That's because when the Nets traded for Trail Blazers swingman Gerald Wallace just before the March 15 deadline, they agreed to ship this year's first-round pick to Portland -- unless it fell among the top three selections.

New Orleans won the draft lottery and the No. 1 pick overall, which the Hornets almost certainly will use to pick Kentucky star Anthony Davis.

The Nets will have to get extremely creative if they want to come up with a suitable offer to acquire Howard, who reportedly isn't happy he waived his early termination option and is said to once again want out of Orlando. Either way, Billy King knows he must assemble a roster that intrigues Deron Williams enough to re-sign with the team once he opts out of the final year of his deal.

"It doesn't make it tougher," the Nets GM said after the proceedings wrapped up at ABC's Times Square studio. "Obviously, having one of those tops picks, it's adding an asset. But I think we have, once again, cap space. Now I know the draft order. Going in, I didn't expect to get the pick, so it's not a disappointment in my eyes.

"But if we would have got it, it would have been a nice bonus."

Asked if the Nets now have enough assets to trade for Howard without a first-round pick this year to offer, King said, "You have to ask Orlando because they are the ones that have him as a player."

A Yahoo! report posted Wednesday quoted a source saying if the Nets did win the lottery, it still wasn't going to be enough to entice Williams to stay. But Williams picked at the report on Twitter, questioning the validity of the source.

King said nothing has changed with Williams' status and he still thinks the trade for Wallace -- whom they'll have to re-sign this summer -- was a good one.

"Absolutely, because I think what Gerald Wallace brings to the table is a lot better than some of the younger guys," King said. "They may take two or three years and we are trying to win right away."

Notes & quotes: NBA commissioner David Stern weighed in on the union's contention on Bird rights and how waivers affect it, which is something the Knicks are keeping an eye on since it involves Jeremy Lin. "We believe that the position that we are espousing here is the one that the contract says is the one and that the arbitrator will confirm," he said.

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