No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn… is Winning
*Photo via Getty images
After using the last couple of summers to boost the roster with veteran talent, the Brooklyn Nets used this past offseason to trim some fat and look towards a younger, less expensive future. The Nets did the best with what they could, as they are still suffering from signing the likes of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson to lucrative deals.
Due to their inability to make major moves this past summer, the Nets may struggle this year; however, success will come sooner than people think. The Nets have a plan (shocking, I know) that can lead to long-term AND short-term success. Their goal is consistent with the rest of the NBA: get younger and more athletic. They’re attempting to master this all while building around center Brook Lopez.
The other piece to this puzzle is rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. The Nets are going to use this year to develop his game in attempt to make him the next two-way star in the league. His development is going to be crucial because with ‘RHJ’ and Lopez as young centerpieces, the Nets will be in prime position to:
1. Sign Kevin Durant
*Photo via NBA
Durant is signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation, and Jay’s ties to the Nets lead back to when he first became a minority owner of the team in 2004. Even when he sold his share of the team, Jay said “I’m a Brooklyn Net forever.” Knowing the business man that Jay is, I’m convinced that he decided to become a sports agent in part so he could sign marquee players and get them to Brooklyn.
Even with Jay’s ties, it’s still Durant’s decision on where he will go. So why would he go to Brooklyn when there are better options available? Enter the Hollis-Jefferson experiment!
If the Nets can prove that Hollis-Jefferson is a star-in-the-making, along with an all-star center in Brook Lopez, they could convince Durant to join the Nets and form a ‘big three’. Those three, along with Thaddeus Young, will give the Nets solid offensive firepower.
The Nets would make for a long, athletic defensive team as well. Hollis-Jefferson is already a stud on that end, Lopez is improving as a rim protector and in the pick and roll defensively, and Lionel Hollins has always enforced defensive principles upon his team. These attributes along with Durant and Young’s length would make the Nets a decent defensive team.
2.Continue to Add Young Talent
*Photo via Netsdaily
If the Nets can’t sign Durant (or any other big free agent for that matter), their plan will be to fill the roster with young talent and build around Lopez and Hollis-Jefferson. This plan will be hard to do because the Nets do not have any draft picks this year or next year. But they will try to move Joe Johnson and get a pick back in the deal.
Also, keep in mind that next year Chris McCullough should be back from his knee injury. The 6’9” forward gives the Nets another young athletic piece to build with or to use in future trades if he shows any upside. McCullough along with whatever draft pick they can get this year, will have to be nice pieces that can team up with Young, Hollis-Jefferson, and Lopez.
I like what the Nets are doing. They are trying to take the mistakes they made in the past, (and trust me, there were a ton of them), and learn from them. They have a sensible plan that could work if executed right.
This year will be the most important year in Brooklyn’s short history. The Nets HAVE to get continual improvement in both Brook Lopez and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Their future depends on it. Until then, there might be some sleepless nights in Brooklyn.