Entering this season, expectations were high for New York City's pair of professional basketball clubs. At worst, they would be jostling among themselves for home-court advantage in the No. 4 versus No. 5 playoff matchup. Optimistically, perhaps one would slip into the No. 3 seed and position itself for a deep postseason run.
Instead, both teams enter Thursday night's showdown as conference cellar-dwellers, with 13 losses apiece despite having the two highest payrolls in the league (Brooklyn leads with $102 million, and the Knicks follow at $88 million). Beyond the immense cash invested into these rosters, each team has relinquished numerous assets to acquire the personnel responsible for its dismal record.
Much of the speculation about the Knicks and Nets prior to Thursday's game will center on which team can salvage this season and make the playoffs. But what about moving forward? Which team has the "brighter" future? Here's an asset inventory analysis of both franchises along with an examination of which one is better equipped to retool.