Why There Is Hope For Brooklyn Nets Moving Forward


The day has come when someone offered something slightly positive to say about the re-made Brooklyn Nets.


Unfortunately it didn’t pertain so much to this upcoming season as it did to next offseason. In his recent assessment of how much teams around the league improved and how well-prepared they are to tackle the highly anticipated 2016 free agent market, NBA.com’s David Aldridge categorized the Nets in the “Middle 10” on Tuesday:

THE KEY MAN: Jarrett Jack, Our John Schuhmann will blow a gasket, but Deron Williams’ departure means Jack will start and get big minutes next season. He was terrific for Golden State a couple of years ago as a third guard, but has struggled for consistency the last two seasons in Cleveland and Brooklyn. But it’s Jack’s team to run now.

THE SKINNY: Under pressure from the Prokhorov to get salaries under control and avoid the repeater luxury tax, GM Billy King sliced his payroll by almost $20 million despite spending market rate to re-sign Lopez and Young. The key was getting rid of Williams, whose lack of productivity, injuries and grouchiness produced a perfect storm of unpopularity. His departure will mean an offense that goes almost exclusively through Lopez and Joe Johnson. Hollis-Jefferson could become a defensive terror in time, and on the occasions when Brooklyn can run, he and Young could be exceptional lane fillers. But that would require a significant improvement at the defensive end – the Nets were 24th in the league last season in defensive rating, 25th in opponent effective field goal percentage, 18th in points allowed and 24th in steals. Brooklyn got a lot younger and cheaper, though, and has enough moveable pieces and cap space in 2016 to be able to at least dream about adding an impact free agent.

Everything Aldridge opined about the 2015-16 version of the Nets seemed rather fair and can stand without debate. His final statement about Brooklyn having “enough moveable pieces and cap space in 2016 to be able to at least dream about adding an impact free agent” adds hope into what wasn’t the prettiest picture painted in the prior segments.

And it also reminds us of something we may have overlooked when evaluating all the moves made by King this summer.

Next season’s Nets may be okay. They may be good. They may be terrible. Who knows how mixture of veteran players and those looking to prove themselves as worthy NBA talents (the majority of both sides under the age of 30) will mesh next season. No matter the result by the regular season’s conclusion, King has done a successful job this offseason.

Brooklyn doesn’t own its first round draft pick in 2016, placing exponentially greater value on the next free agent class for the rebuilding franchise. So long as King has put the Nets in a position to throw their hat in the ring and make a run at one of those big names (Kevin Durant, Dwyane Wade, Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Eric Gordon, etc.), that’s all Nets fans can really ask for.

It may not have gotten Nets fans rushing to order season tickets for the upcoming campaign, but Aldridge’s analysis did remind the Brooklyn faithful that the future does still hold something to be excited about as a result of King’s recent work.

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