Starting Power Forward: Trevor Booker
The starting role for power forward has to go to one of the newly-acquired veterans: Trevor Booker or Luis Scola. They both have the veteran leadership and skill to take the starting role, but are extremely different players. While Scola has more range, Booker is limited to close-range shots. However, Booker is far more explosive in the paint and superior defensively. Scola will provide more of a kick off the bench and for that reason, I’m going with Booker for the starting spot.
Booker is entering his seventh season in the NBA. He was never known as a scorer, but makes up for it through his quickness and effectiveness in the paint. In his two stints with the Washington Wizards and Utah Jazz, Booker posted very similar numbers. His career averages are 6.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Brooklyn will certainly have to sacrifice scoring production by starting Booker, but the production by the rest of the starting five should compensate for that.
In the long-run, the Nets will want Chris McCullough at the starting role, but both Booker and Scola will be good substitutes while McCullough develops. McCullough, who’s entering his second season with the Nets, has shown huge promise with the team, particularly in Summer League. Though he only played in 24 games last season due to an ACL injury from his time at Syracuse, the potential is clearly there. What makes McCullough stand out is his incredible athleticism and his ability to shoot from the outside. Last season, McCullough shot at 40.4 percent from the field and 38.2 percent from long range.
As a scorer, Scola will pack a huge scoring punch coming off the bench. This will significantly help the Nets, whose bench ranked last in difference efficiency (-8.5) last season. Depending on the circumstance, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson might choose to alternate between Booker and Scola in the starting lineup.
The last option the Nets have for power forward is Anthony Bennett, who will definitely not be getting significant playing time. In the past, Bennett was used at both small forward and power forward, but has shown major issues playing both roles. He has a lot to prove on the Nets but until then, it’s safe to assume he won’t be used that often in the rotations.