The Nets Make Another GOOD Move
When did the Brooklyn Nets become a savvy, resourceful franchise? How does a team with little to no assets add draft picks and the second overall pick from the 2015 NBA Draft (D’Angelo Russell)? Welcome to the New Nets. The Brooklyn Nets are no longer the laughing stock of NBA front offices (take that Knicks!). Marks and Co. have made the Nets an organization that players actually want to join.
On July 13th, the Toronto Raptors officially sent DeMarre Carroll, a 2018 lottery-protected first-round and 2018 second-round to the Brooklyn Nets in exchange for Justin Hamilton.
For the record, the Nets again don’t have their own first-round pick in 2018 (owed to the Celtics) and this move puts them back in the picture, similar to the way the Timothy Mozgov & D’Angelo Russell/Brook Lopez trade did. While that move was much more high profile, this trade may be just as important.
Let’s start with the acquisition of forward DeMarre Carroll. Cap-space has been a hot trend in NBA front offices recently. The Nets payroll is still way under the cap, which gives them the luxury of taking on other team’s bad contracts for assets.
This is where the Toronto Raptors and DeMarre Carroll came into play. The Raps were edging eerily close to the luxury tax with the recent re-signings of Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, and wanted to open up space to add another player (C.J. Miles). So, the Raptors needed to dump Carroll's contract (2yrs, $30 million) to open up more cap space.
Carroll himself adds a lot to this young Nets roster. Alongside Mozgov, he will be one of the veteran figures of the locker room. He will be a great mentor for the young developing wings in Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. While he had a dip in production last year; specifically when it came to his jumpshot, shooting just a tad above 34% from 3 and shooting only 40% from the field. These number were way under his normal career averages which are 44%FG and 36.1% from 3. However, this may have been a blip on the radar with Carroll’s health preventing him from making a significant impact last year. For the record he recently revealed at Las Vegas Summer League that he’s the “healthiest I’ve been in years.” A healthy DeMarre Carroll will provide some great defense and valuable shooting range. He will fit in seamlessly into Kenny Atkinson’s system, and even more so seeing that he has a strong relationship and history with the former Atlanta assistant. Carroll also told reporters ESPN reporters this at Summer League, “Kenny [Atkinson] I’ve known since Atlanta and he’s the one that helped me take my game to the next level. I’m just happy to get back under his wing.” Good signs Nets fans.
Now for the acquisition of those two juicy draft picks. The Nets need all the assets they can get after the infamous Celtics (yes we’re still talking about it) trade which left them bereft of any quality picks. Now the team has a nice collection of them (albeit not lottery bound) Even after taking on the contracts of Mozgov and Carroll, the Nets still have plenty of room to make a few more moves after they missed out on free agents Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Otto Porter. A plethora of teams are likely going to want to shed salary (here’s looking at you Portland) and Marks hasn’t been shy about willing to take it on, though only if it fits within the team’s structure and timeline, as he said last December to the New York Post, “Every team knows we’ve got plenty of cash to spend and manoeuvre around. We’ll just be strategic in how we do it.” #TrustTheStrategy.