Brooklyn Nets: Why Tanking is in the books and may help PG situation

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 21: D'Angelo Russell
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 21: D'Angelo Russell /
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 21: D’Angelo Russell
NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 21: D’Angelo Russell /

At the start of the season, the Brooklyn Nets knew there was an issue with the current guard situation. With the season almost over, the Nets could tank to fix their situation.

Once the date changes to June 22, a sorrow-filled era of Brooklyn Nets basketball will partially be over. The team will no longer have any outgoing draft picks. The traces of former GM Billy King will be wiped away from the franchise forever.

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Brooklyn will able to finally be able to execute a conventional rebuild like a normal franchise. With that said, the team will have to decide what direction they plan on going in next season. They won’t have to purposely lose too many games. Granted, they haven’t been able to win many games this season even when they have no incentive to lose.

With that said, do the Nets ship off some of their players for assets and let the team lose as much as possible? Or do they let some of their guys develop and see what kind of product is on the court? It’s hard to say but like mentioned earlier the team won’t have much farther down to go

While many expect the 2019 draft won’t be as great as this year’s, there are still a few players with superstar potential. The Nets are in need of a franchise changing player and potential 2019 draftees like R.J Barrett may fit that mold and be great fits on the Nets roster. 

The Nets don’t have any players currently that anyone is projecting to become superstars, and that’s a problem. With all the money being dished out due to salary dump trades as well, the team may need to tank and rid themselves of Jeremy Lin and DeMarre Carroll once their salaries expire next summer. Not only would doing so shed some salary, but also free up one of the guard spots.

Another possible situation may be a buy out of the contract of  Lin. With Lin looking to contribute to a team, the Nets may buy the final year of his contract out. This would allow him to move on if they would like to continue to tank without making it too obvious.

We saw a similar situation occur under Marks’ reign when he bought out former Net Joe Johnson, so a buyout of Lin’s contract is without a doubt a possible outcome that can come from this situation. It’s more likely than not that he’ll be in Brooklyn for the entirety of next season. 

Back to the season at hand, as of right now things aren’t looking too good in Brooklyn. The team is in an extremely bad slump. The Nets have lost 15 of their last 18 games. A team that was in a good position to win 30 games will now be lucky to win 25. Without any superstars on the roster, the Nets are going to need to buckle down and go into full on tank mode. In the process, they may be able to better figure out their guard logjam that will be a problem next season.

By playing guys like Isaiah Whitehead and Lin, they can possibly better figure out who is fit to stay in their system and see if they can gauge Lin’s trade value despite his decently large contract. It’s not probable. But teams were interested in DeMarre Carroll and his large contract this previous trade deadline. Another plus is not only do the results not matter, but they can let contracts expire and acquire picks.

With Carroll and Lin’s contracts off the books come next summer and Crabbe and Timofey Mozgov’s contracts expiring the following summer, the Nets can allow these contracts to expire while tanking and find themselves with a ton cap space come the summer of 2021.

Also don’t rule out the Nets attaching a player or asset to a player like Mozgov next summer if they want to clear cap space earlier and be in the running for a player like Klay Thompson or Kawhi Leonard. It may be a stretch but a free agent of their caliber could end up in Brooklyn. Granted, Brooklyn would have to sell them on their vision and re-stashed cupboard of draft picks after this summer. It’s very unclear what the Nets will do and what direction they will take. But one things for sure, they’re going to be able to bring in talent very soon.

Patience will be key. The team should look to tank and let contracts off the books while playing younger players as well. This summer will be an indicator in what the Nets will do. But one thing’s for sure, patience will be key. Big changes are coming in the next two seasons.