Brooklyn Nets: 10 best rookie seasons in franchise history

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Brooklyn Nets

UNIONDALE, NY – 1974: Dan Issel #44 of the Kentucky Colonels and Larry Kenon #35 of the New York Nets attempt to rebound the ball during a game circa 1974 at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1974 NBAE (Photo by NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Brooklyn Nets franchise has played 51 seasons and in that time, several 1st-year players stood out. Here are the 10 best rookie seasons in team history.

Young talent is the lifeblood for any franchise and it’s been no different for the Brooklyn Nets franchise in its 51-year history.

The Nets had rookies play major roles on both of their ABA title teams in the 1970s and nearly every return to playoff contention of the club included young players who were either rookies or in the early parts of their careers.

A pair of first-year players started for the 1974 ABA title team, with Larry Kenon at the power forward spot and John Williamson emerging at the shooting guard position late in the season and in the playoffs.

In 1976, first-year big man Kim Hughes got the call to step into the Whopper-sized shoes of Billy Paultz and helped the Nets to their second title in three seasons with his rebounding and defensive work.

In their history, the Nets have had three players win Rookie of the Year honors, Brian Taylor taking the honor for the ABA in 1972-73 and Buck Williams (1981-82) and Derrick Coleman (1990-91) earning the NBA ROY hardware.

The franchise has had 19 players named to All-Rookie teams in the ABA and NBA, with three rookies — Williams, Kenon and Tony Jackson in 1968 — getting All-Star invitations.

This list had a couple of simple qualifications — play enough to qualify for the minutes per game leaderboard (varying standards over the years, but for a long time the NBA qualifying marks were 70 games or 2,000 mimutes played) and average at least 20 minutes per game.

With that, here are the top 10 rookie seasons in the history of the Brooklyn Nets franchise.

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