Post by @corbantheman
The 19-60 Brooklyn Nets are closing out their last games of this 2016-2017 NBA campaign. It’s been rough but there has been signs of improvements, especially with an 11-11 record since March 1st. The Nets have even played a bit of playoff spoilers for teams hoping to get into the postseason, beating the Grizzlies, Hawks, and Bulls in that span. Coach Kenny Atkinson has done a great job getting the Nets to play a more fast paced offensive system that is built almost entirely from a three-point shooting spread floor. Even though the Nets don’t have their own pick (projected to go #1 to the Boston Celtics) there are still decisions that the Nets will have to make this offseason.
Fortunately for Brooklyn the Nets DO have a pick…two to be exact. They have a 2017 second round pick from Indiana and a 2017 second round pick from Indiana. These two picks will probably land in the late 20s. They also have a protected first round pick from Washington in the Bojan Bodganovic trade that they will receive, but probably not this year.
There will be prospects to evaluate and add to this roster for next year, and even though the Nets have picks that come in a little late, this is still a deep enough draft that Brooklyn can conceivably find some diamonds in the rough. This is also good for the Nets to add new talent as they look into their own roster and who will wear the black and white next season.
The Nets have 8 players under contract for next season (Trevor Booker, Justin Hamilton, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LaVert, Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez, Andrew Nicholson and Isaiah Whitehead) They also have 5 partially guaranteed contracts (that of Quincy Acy, Spencer Dimwittie, Joe Harris, Archie Goodwin, and Sean Kilpatrick) With the relative youth and potential these 5 have flashed over the season there is a strong chance that Brooklyn will evaluate what they can bring and see if there is a role for them on the team next year. If nothing else they can fill out the rotation for next season. However if the Nets do decide to part ways there aren’t any financial ramifications.
Two players who could potentially become free agents (aside from the partial guarantees) are Randy Foye and K.J. McDaniels. Randy Foye has shown solid play for Brooklyn at both the shooting guard position as well as the off ball slot and could still provide some good minutes off the bench for a contender or potential contender ( GS, HOU, OKC) Unless there is a strong mutual sense of renewing acquaintances, expect Foye to find a new home. McDaniels is an interesting case, as he is a RFA with a team option. He has flashed promise but has floated around the league for a bit now. However there is tantalizing potential for him as an athletic combo forward with a stroke from the perimeter that shows promise. He’s also only 24. I’d say it’s a 50/50 chance that he returns.
In Free Agency the Nets will look to continue the strategy that they attempted last year: the Nets will look for Restricted Free Agents that are young and have unrealized potential and attempt to lure them over to NY via overloaded contracts. It puts opposing teams in a tough spot but also has a dual purpose; either the Nets get a FA prospect that could be a potential centerpiece for them or they force the teams that have the players rights to match and deal with the financial consequences of a bloated contract later. Last year the Nets targets were Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe. This year there will be a number of options for the Nets to go after. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will surely be a target. So will players like Tim Hardaway Jr., Otto Porter and Kelly Olynyk. Even Alex Len could get a look. After that expect Brooklyn to look for players on short-term deals to fill out the roster (Omri Casspi, Jeff Green, Aaron Brooks)
As a guy from out here I can tell you that Brooklyn is a city of adaptability. We take all that happens to us and we adjust. Some of it is our own fault and some of it isn’t, but it really doesn’t matter. We keep it moving it and we make it happen. The Brooklyn Nets are very much like their namesake city. They made mistakes early and are in a bit of mess right now because of it. But they have buckled down, set a path, and seem to be willing to stay the course. The Nets are down and out right now, but look for them to be on the up and up very soon.
Position that needs to be addressed immediately: Power Forward
Front Office Leadership: Solid
Likelihood of Substantial Offseason Moves: Fairly Likely