Offseason Preview: Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets (21-61)
*Photo via Sportsdaily
Now we're getting to the worst of the worst. The Deron Williams experiment didn’t work. Joe Johnson is gone. Billy King is history. The Nets lottery pick this year, 3rd overall to be exact, belongs to the Celtics due to the deal that brought the Nets Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, back in 2014. Last season, the Nets took a team led by Jarrett Jack, Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young up against the elite of the NBA for the 2015-16 NBA campaign and while spirits were high on the team’s media day and of course before the first tip-off of the season, hope, faith and anything associated with optimism faded within the first month of the season. The Nets went 1-9 in their first ten games of the season and that pretty much set the tone for the season. They would never recover, in terms of fighting for .500 and Jack tearing his ACL in January didn’t help either. In a season full of gloom, the lone highlights arrived when LeBron was in town, Kobe’s last game at Barclays and 2015 first round picks, Chris McCullough and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson hitting the hardwood for the first time of their career. Fortunately for Brooklyn, they have the chance to press the reset button. The big contracts aren’t on the roster anymore and now newly instated head coach Kenny Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks can build a team that reflects their basketball profiles.
Restricted – Sergey Karasev, Willie Reed, Markel Brown, Henry Sims
Options – Jarrett Jack, Thomas Robinson, Wayne Ellington, Shane Larkin
Unrestricted – Donald Sloan
Who leaves, Who Stays
*Photo via Hoopsmack
Thomas Robinson is expected to exercise that player option and make his stay in Brooklyn a one-year experience. This past year, Robinson averaged 12.9 minutes a game which resulted in 4.3 ppg, the second lowest of his career. Meaningful basketball wasn’t an option, and Robinson is looking for more security and a better role. There haven’t been any recent reports on the Jack situation, but teams can be a little hesitant due to injury concerns.
*Photo via Sports on Earth
Like the Knicks, the Nets need a lot. How about a backup center? Unless Brook demands a trade, the more offensively talented Lopez twin will be in Brooklyn for the next two years and it would be nice if there was a center who could come in and bring the same type of production off the bench. Joakim Noah could be the answer and it could be a tough sell. Noah is used to the playoffs and the smell of significant games throughout the entire year so convincing him that this is the place for him to spend the next couple of season to help turn around a rebuilding franchise will be a challenge. A point guard. Jack isn’t the future of the franchise so finding one will be key. The Nets are looking to acquire a first-round pick in the draft and also own the no.55 pick. The bench is also a concern. Finding Sean Kilpatrick in the D-League was savvy but the Nets will need more if they plan on returning to relevancy, just look at the Golden State Warriors who runs Shaun Livingston out there to relieve Steph Curry, a former Net.
*Photo via Getty Images
Jeremy Lin – Could definitely start after excelling in a reserve role with the Charlotte Hornets last season.
Jordan Clarkson – Restricted free agent who would give the Nets their pg for the future. Lakers could match but who knows
Eric Gordon – Will be a free-agent after next season so this would be a rental
Kent Bazemore – Would bring that much needed spark to the Nets bench
Harrison Barnes – A great piece to begin the rebuilding phase