The Free Agency Profile for the Brooklyn Nets
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Brooklyn Nets (38-44) – (3rd Atlantic Division, 8th Eastern Conference)
Season Summary: The Brooklyn Nets didn't have major expectations last season, yet still found a way to underperform. The problem for the Nets was consistency. For stretches they played well, even managing wins against the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers, and a few other quality teams, but were nothing more than a mediocre team for the majority of the season.
They did make some strides as the season progressed, thanks to the changes coach Lionel Hollins, made after the All-Star break. Hollins went with a quicker and more athletic lineup, by inserting trade deadline acquisition Thaddeus Young and second-round pick Markel Brown. Not only did these two bring athleticism to the Nets starting lineup, but they brought energy and defense, two things the team desperately needed.
This change allowed the Nets to squeeze into the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference. They did get knocked out in the first round, but not before forcing the 60 win one-seed Atlanta Hawks, to six games.
One thing is certain and that's the Nets are looking to get younger and more athletic. That can be seen by all of their recent moves as well as by the Nets GM Billy King, who has noted this multiple times.
The cap situation in Brooklyn is UGLY. The Nets have tried to move some of these awful contracts and will continue to do so, but it's unlikely they find a suitor and any cap relief. So the Nets biggest goal this offseason will be retaining their top two free agents.
Cap Situation: UGLY… About $6.5 million under the cap projection of $67.1 million, but that won’t last long; retaining either Brook Lopez and/or Thad Young will put the Nets well over the cap and likely into the luxury tax.
Brook Lopez, Center - Player Option (Opted out)
Thad Young, Forward - Player Option (Opted out)
Mirza Teletovic, Forward – Restricted
Alan Anderson, Guard/Forward - Player Option
Jerome Jordan, Center – Unrestricted
Who Will Stay Who Will Go:
It’s important the Nets retain their top free agents if they hope be a competitive team this upcoming season. If not, the team will be tough to watch with their aging backcourt and cap situation handicapping them from improving the team. The Nets have already stated retaining Brook Lopez and Thad Young is a priority and will likely be willing to match any offer Lopez receives. And to be honest, the Nets really don't have much of a choice as Lopez carried them into the playoffs while improving his rebounding and defense down the stretch. It also is likely that Thad Young will be back in Brooklyn as well. Young seemed to really enjoy his time in Brooklyn and management seems to love his attitude and style of play. As for Teletovic and Anderson, it is really unknown, it looks like both players will garner solid interest and the Nets will have a decision to make.
Backup Center - After trading Mason Plumlee the night of the draft, the Nets need someone to backup Brook Lopez (if he stays).This is an important position for the Nets, especially when you consider Lopez’s injury history.
Three-Point Shooting - The Nets finished 26th in three-point shooting percentage last season, an area they must improve. This could end up being an even a bigger need if they lose Bosnian sharpshooter, Mirza Teletovic in free agency.
Most of the Nets’ focus will be on retaining Lopez and Young and after that they will be well over the cap. This will leave the Nets with limited options in free agency, if the Nets make any sort of significant acquisition it will be through a trade.
Kosta Koufos - Koufos has mentioned he would like to receive a starting role so landing him is unlikely, but he would be a great option.
Chris Kaman - Kaman would bring solid scoring off the bench, but it will be difficult to lure him away from Portland.
Tyler Hansbrough - Hansbrough might not be the most skilled player but he does bring a ton of energy and effort, plus he is likely in the Nets’ price range.
Gerald Green - Green saw his NBA career come back to life when the Nets gave him a 10-day contract a few years ago, and he hasn’t seen the same success since. A reunion might work out for both teams.
Marco Belinelli - Belinelli could provide the Nets with some much needed three-point shooting, and the Nets did have an interest in him a few years back. The problem is Belinelli doesn’t seem to be interested in the Nets.
Omri Casspi - Casspi had a great stretch at the end of the season, and seemed to flourish under new coach, George Karl. Casspi is a crafty scorer with a solid outside shot.
Alonzo Gee - Gee isn’t the three-point shooter the rest of these guys are but he would provide athleticism and energy for a bargain.