EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Nets general manager Billy King said Monday that time will tell whether the core of his team -- point guard Deron Williams, center Brook Lopez and swingman Joe Johnson -- will have long-term success, but he said he isn't looking to shake up his 6-9 team.
"We'll see," King said when asked if Williams, Lopez and Johnson, now in their third season together in Brooklyn, still can be a viable nucleus around which to build an NBA contender.
With the Nets set to visit the Knicks Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, King acknowledged that his team lacks rebounding and consistency but said he doesn't feel pressure to make a trade or do anything drastic.
"The onus is to try to get us better to win games," said King, who has been the Nets' general manager since July 14, 2010.
"Right now we're not playing our best basketball. Obviously, we'd like to be playing better, but it's a long year. I know I said that last year, but it is true. It's a long year and you can't overreact.
"I see some of the weaknesses that we have, and I saw them before the season. You saw them in the preseason. But it's more or less, you don't want to overreact and compensate for one area, then weaken another."
King, who rarely addresses the media, decided to speak at the team's practice Monday because he wanted to announce that forward Andrei Kirilenko, who had not been with the team for a while, is back practicing.
Though Internet reports have indicated that the team is looking to trade the Russian forward, who has been left out of coach Lionel Hollins' rotation, King insisted that he is not being shopped.
Kirilenko has been away from the team dealing with a personal situation, King said. Kirilenko wouldn't divulge the details of the situation, but he did say it involved his wife, who is pregnant.
Kirilenko said the situation might resolve itself in February (coincidentally, Feb. 19 is the NBA trade deadline), and he added that he might skip traveling with the team for a while.
When asked about Lopez and whether he believes the center can improve in all of the areas -- rebounding, passing and defense -- in which Hollins has asked him to upgrade his game, King said the 7-footer still is working his way back into form. Lopez missed most of last season after foot surgery and was out for most of the preseason because of a sprained foot.
King added that he believes Lopez can be the complete player Hollins wants him to be.