Starting Small Forward: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
This position is a bit more unclear, mainly because the Nets don’t have players who purely play at the three. With Joe Johnson gone and Bogdanovic starting at shooting guard, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is the best candidate for the starting role at small forward. Hollis-Jefferson is a versatile up-and-coming player on the Nets, and Brooklyn will use that to their advantage.
Last season, Hollis-Jefferson proved to be a bright spot on a rather dull Nets team. Though a right ankle injury limited him to just 29 games, Hollis-Jefferson showed that he can be a strong defensive force when healthy. Four of his total 5.3 rebounds per game came defensively, and he had the best defensive rating (101.4) on the team.
Hollis-Jefferson also dazzled in Summer League. Over the course of five games, he tallied 10.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game. However, Hollis-Jefferson shot just 25 percent from long range. If he can improve his perimeter game, he will have a strong sophomore season. This is great news for the Nets, who desperately need Hollis-Jefferson to step up to the plate this season.
We’ll probably see the Nets rotate between using Bogdanovic at SG and SF, as they did last season. Bogdanovic has the range to play well at the two, but because of his size, can excel at the three as well.
The Nets can also defer to rookie Caris LeVert for small forward. Similar to Bogdanovic, LeVert, at six-foot-seven, has the potential of playing both as shooting guard and small forward. At the University of Michigan, LeVert played mainly at the two and three. He’ll likely see minutes at both positions.
Next: Power Forwards