Brooklyn Nets: assessing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s role

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson /

The Brooklyn Nets made several key additions this offseason that could push Rondae Hollis-Jefferson out of the starting lineup. If that is the case, what might his role be this season?

Without a draft pick, the Brooklyn Nets have no incentive to tank this upcoming season. Kenny Atkinson could go down the role of developing his young talent but he also has enough veteran talent to remain relevant in the hunt for a playoff spot.

Brooklyn added several viable, and expensive, pieces this offseason. While the Nets did acquire draft picks in these deals, its not as though the team will bench anyone they don’t see in their long-term plans.

Actually, because none of the deals acquired are expiring contracts, you could say all of the players Sean Marks picked up are going to be a part of the future. DeMarre Carroll’s remaining two years and $30 million is the soonest expiring deal out of the contracts acquired.

Perhaps Marks could move his expiring deal next offseason. Carroll could get in the way of third year Net Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

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Carroll would only be a perceived impediment to Hollis-Jefferson develops into a stud starter. As of right now, he isn’t that.

Hollis-Jefferson has incredible athletic gifts. He is quick, he has hops, and he can defend any position from point guard to power forward. What he can’t do consistently is knock down jumpers.

Athletes with limited offensive games are not as effective as they used to be. In this 3-point heavy era of the NBA, it is imperative for a player to have the range to be able to space the floor. With Hollis-Jefferson already being undersized as a 4, it is imperative he improves his long-range shooting.

His career shooting percentage from downtown doesn’t cut it. Making less than 25 percent of your 3-pointers is not going to help your case for playing time.

If Hollis-Jefferson doesn’t improve his shot, there is no reason he should start over Carroll. Carroll is an above average 3-point shooter and under Atkinson in Atlanta, he was a great 3-point marksman.

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Carroll starting would open up the floor tremendously. D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin would have the room to drive the lane. Timofey Mozgov would have the room to operate in the post. The team would be able to play a one-in, four-out scheme.

Hollis-Jefferson doesn’t allow that.

At this point, Hollis-Jefferson is best suited to be a backup 4 for a youth-driven bench unit. Alongside the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, Isaiah Whitehead, Caris LeVert and Sean Kilpatrick, the team could have a swarming defensive attack and try to force turnovers to create transition offense.

In some lineups, Hollis-Jefferson may be able to play alongside Carroll in the Nets knockoff version of the Golden State Warriors’ “death lineup.”

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Until he can fix his jump shot, Hollis-Jefferson isn’t the best option as a starter. Hollis-Jefferson has improved in many facets of his game already since being drafted out of Arizona. There’s no reason why he won’t be able to get better offensively.

Patience is key though. For now, the bench is the best spot for him. The Nets have no reason yet to give big minutes to their younger players that give them less of a chance to compete against the league’s best teams.