Blogtable: Buy the Hawks or the Nets?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

BLOGTABLE: Buy Hawks or Nets? | Who is Atlanta’s All-Star? | Are the Hawks legit?

VIDEOThe Starters discuss the Hawks’ recent surge in the East

> Taking in the whole picture – current roster and contracts, fan base, TV market, arena – which NBA team is the more attractive buy: the Brooklyn Nets or the Atlanta Hawks?

Steve Aschburner, Location, location, location! I don’t like the Nets’ current roster overall, the fan base can be fickle, the arena felt underbuilt the times I’ve been there and the novelty of an NBA team in Brooklyn has worn off. But it’s still an NBA team in Brooklyn, for cryin’ out loud. The size of the market, the basketball traditions in New York, the attractiveness to free agents – all of that is a big advantage over Atlanta’s tried-and-tried-and-tried-again little franchise. Now if I could just swing a 24-player trade with Danny Ferry‘s empty chair…

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comWhen you’re looking at the whole picture, the obvious overwhelming deciding factor is the TV market. Two words: New York. It trumps everything. The Nets also have a spanking new state of the art arena in the Barclays Center.  The fan base for basketball in the market is also one of the best in the league. Filling out your roster with players is down the list of heavy lifting. If you’re looking in short-term, obviously you reach for the red-hot Hawks and Atlanta. But it’s still a franchise trying to figure it all out. If I’m a prospective owner looking to get into the league for the long term and have my choice of either franchise, it’s a no-brainer for the Nets.

Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.comObviously pending the final total on the bill, the Nets are the more attractive buy. Not the better basketball team, but the better chance to make a lot of money. New York always seems like a limitless market anyway, but especially now with not only the Knicks in full fetal position but a lot of the city’s teams struggling. Grab even a small slice of the NYC fan base and it would be considered a big jump a lot of other places. The turnstiles don’t move much at Hawks games even with a very good start.

Shaun Powell, NBA.comYou can never bet against New York real estate, and that’s essentially where the value lies with the Nets. They’ll always be the No. 2 team in NYC the way the Clippers will always be No. 2 in L.A. Plus, the roster is a mess (along with the loss of future Draft picks from the Joe Johnson trade). While the Hawks are in far better shape basketball-wise, I’m not convinced about the marketplace. Remember, even in the Dominique Wilkins years, the Hawks didn’t always sell out the old Omni. It’s a football town, plain and simple.

John Schuhmann, NBA.comThe Nets are one of the most boring and one of the most disappointing teams in the league, with little hope for a turnaround in the next couple of seasons. The Hawks are not only good and fun to watch, but also have the maneuverability to make upgrades. But Brooklyn’s market and brand trump all that in regard to franchise value. The Nets have a newer and better arena in a much bigger city. They need time to build up their fan base, but in New York, you can always get people, like tourists who have never seen an NBA game before, in the seats. Just ask the 5-35 Knicks.

Sekou Smith, Conventional business wisdom says Brooklyn, Brooklyn, Brooklyn! The return on your investment in Metropolitan New York, no matter how big or bigger that investment would have to be to purchase a NBA team these days, is certainly going to be greater with the Nets. I’m a risk taker, though, so I’d go with Atlanta and the continued growth of the Mecca of the southeast. If Mark Cuban can make it work in (Cowboys mad) Dallas, why can’t someone make it work in Atlanta? The Hawks’ overall basketball portfolio is far superior to what the Nets are working with. They own the longest playoff streak in the Eastern Conference, have a sound core group that is playing the best basketball of any team in the East and perhaps the entire league as of this moment. And there is a hungry fan base itching for someone to present them with a winner to go crazy over. The Nets will never overtake the Knicks as the top draw in the Big Apple. The top spot in Atlanta is wide open, for an owner willing to take a little risk.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.comBrooklyn, by far. Of course there will be a few hard years of rebuilding for the new owner; but the immensity of the New York market and its lush revenue streams will trigger a much higher price for the Nets than for the Hawks.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog: As an Atlanta native who has lived in New York City for the last 15 years, I feel like I am uniquely qualified to answer this. And even as someone who rooted for the Hawks for decades, and someone as shocked as the next person at the way the Hawks are playing this season, the Nets are probably the smarter buy. Sure, the Hawks are the better team right now, and are better positioned for both the immediate and long-term future, but there’s one key advantage Brooklyn has over Atlanta: Metropolitan Atlanta has about 5.5 million residents; Brooklyn is part of New York City, which has about 8.5 million people. Brooklyn is part of one of the richest, most densely-populated cities in the world, filled with deep pockets just waiting to be tapped. Even without an owner and an absentee GM, the Hawks are in a better place than the Nets. But the Nets are the smarter buy.


  1. Carlo says:

    Buy both. Shift them. Make money AND fun in NY, while the arena in Atlanta couldn’t be more empty than now, even with a boring team playing.

  2. Indiana'sownLarryBird says:

    Is Brooklyn in the house, I’m buying the Nets, it’s New York New York.

  3. harriethehawk says:

    Joe Johnson is a bum and so is Derron Williams. I’m betting the Hawks are a better deal. I know, what I said is irrelevant. It’s just that every time I hear the word Brooklyn Nets, the word “bums” come to my mind. Sorry.

  4. vanicia brown-belus says:

    also, the fan base of the nets are not only Brooklyn, but New Jersey – they came with the team.

  5. thecoachba says:

    Do you want to make money or do you want to win? I want to win. The Heat are the perfect example. Before they had Lebron nobody came to their games. When they started winning all the sudden the crowds were huge. The Hawks are in a better situation than the Nets. The Nets have spent a lot of money and have bad contracts. They’ve given away their top draft picks for a few years and really don’t have much hope to rebuild other than free agency when the cap goes up. As an amateur GM I would much rather toy around with the pieces of the Hawks. I like Horford and Teague. They also have hired a Spurs guy and that Spurs organization knows how to build teams. I’m going with the Hawks. Atlanta isn’t a small town either.

  6. dustydreamnz says:

    Pretty easy one this, agree with all the writers. Gotta be the Nets. Businesses are about money and the Nets are potential money.

  7. sheepblogs says:

    I don’t think the Nets is a “smarter buy” than the Hawks. Well if you are trying to be there for the money, Nets would be great. It’s New York. That’s where money is at. I mean there is a lot of money going around in Atlanta, but financially, Brooklyn would be the better choice.
    But if you look at the team, I think hawks is a lot better to work with. The team is in really good shape, and I would enjoy watching that basketball team grow and become a blockbuster team. I would like my job too. I think the Nets is a terrible team and if I bought the Nets, my job as an owner would be a miserable one.
    So if I would have to choose between the two teams, I would pick the Hawks. No doubt I wouldn’t get as much as I would get in Brooklyn, but my job as an owner would be much easier, and probably much better, if I bought the Hawks.