Brooklyn Nets: Battles for Starting and Backup Position

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Caris LeVert
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 15: Caris LeVert /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 10: Timofey Mozgov
LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 10: Timofey Mozgov /


There isn’t much of a position battle here. The trade that brought Russell to the Nets also brought Timofey Mozgov and his awful contract. Mozgov has been a serviceable center throughout his career, and that’s the role he needs to fill on the Nets.

Mozgov will never fill the role that All-Star centerLopez had on the Nets, but he doesn’t have to. What he will be expected to do is expand his range as a shooter. Last season, Atkinson successfully turned Lopez into a three-point shooter and can hopefully do the same for Mozgov.

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Behind Mozgov is first round draft pick out of Texas, Jarrett Allen. Allen is a long, athletic center that can lay down highlight dunks and protect the rim. His offensive game is not polished outside of his dunking ability.

With Mozgov in front of him, Allen will have the opportunity to develop and eventually become the starter down the road. Teams will challenge Allen to shoot jumpers in his first season, but being on a bad team gives him the opportunity to shoot them and get better without worry.

The center position on the Nets has taken a hit from what it was under Lopez, but in the modern NBA it isn’t necessary to have great center play. Lopez was a great player for the Nets, but the team has moved on, and Mozgov will be the starter this season.

Next: Assessing Rondae Hollis-Jefferson's Role

Starter – Timofey Mozgov

Backup – Jarrett Allen