Brooklyn Nets’ Rebuild in Early Stages of “The Process”

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Jan 8, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez (11) drives to the basket against Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) in the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Sixers win 105-95. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016-17 Brooklyn Nets season has clearly been one centered around rebuilding. This is something that the Philadelphia 76ers have been doing since 2013. Here is how the Nets are taking steps towards being in a position where a feeling of optimism is prevalent throughout the organization, similarly to the Sixers’ current state.

First, a little background. Philadelphia had been a mediocre team from 2004-2012. After Allen Iverson’s departure, the Sixers were a middle of the pack playoff team. During those years, the team was headed by Andre Iguodala, who was later discovered to be much better suited as a role player. Billy King, a very familiar face to the Nets, oversaw the mediocrity in Philadelphia for several years before being let go in 2007.

After several more years of being a middle of the pack squad, the Sixers hired Sam Hinkie, who had previously served under Daryl Morey in Houston. Hinkie immediately orchestrated one of the most notable tank jobs in NBA history. He continuously gathered picks by trading away core players such as Jrue Holiday and Thaddeus Young.

As a result of “The Process,” Hinkie has taken risks on players who have the potential to turn into franchise cornerstones. He has passed up on the likes of established college stars like Marcus Smart, Julius Randle and Kelly Olynyk to select Joel Embiid, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Dario Saric, who all had unique risks attached to them at the draft time.

While the Nets have been unable to tank due to their loss of draft picks, Sean Marks has taken steps towards acquiring picks and gathering assets as well. Brooklyn has, in its own way, began a version of the process that will take much longer and will involve taking a lot more risks.

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