This is where Rondae Hollis-Jefferson projects again this season and while undersized, his game to this point has been much more traditional 4 than stretch 4.
Jefferson started 59 games and appeared in 68 last season,. averaging 13.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 steals in 28.2 minutes per game while shooting .472/.241/.788.
Valley of the Suns
The 3-point shot has not been a consistent weapon for Hollis-Jefferson, but his touch — at least from camp reports — is much improved this season.
Offense has been a work in progress for Hollis-Jefferson, who is entering the fourth and final year of his rookie deal. As a rookie, Hollis-Jefferson was an energetic rim runner and dogged defender on the wing, although he was limited to 29 games because of a broken ankle.
In his second year, he added a mid-range jumper of sorts, dropping his field-goal percentage from 45.7 percent to 43.4 percent.
Last season, RHJ was a legitimate scoring presence inside the arc, with an improved percentage and a much smoother release on the jumper, which was encouraging for his potential growth as a floor stretcher.
Behind Hollis-Jefferson will be the salary dumps turned valuable veteran acquisitions. The Nets acquired Kenneth Faried from the Denver Nuggets in a pure salary dump, acquiring a top-12 protected 2019 first-round pick in the process.
Jared Dudley came to Brooklyn from the Phoenix Suns via the same route — the Nets added future picks in exchange for taking on an unwanted salary.
Faried got left behind in Denver after he was a starter and all-tournament player for USA Basketball at the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain. The arrival of coach Mike Malone meant a change to a pace-and-space offense that didn’t suit Faried’s game well.
Once Paul Millsap joined the Nuggets as a free agent, Faried’s playing time basically evaporated — he logged just 32 games last season despite behing healthy and didn’t play at all after the All-Star break.
Dudley also had a rough season in 2017-18, putting on a lot of weight as his playing time diminished to career-low levels.
Dudley is now 20 pounds lighter and could be an important piece as a fourth shooter on the floor for the Nets. A 39.6 percent shooter from 3-point range in his career, Dudley is certainly the best shooter of the available 4s.
Also in the mix at the 4 are Alan Williams, who is on a two-way deal, and second-round pick Rodions Kurucs.
Projection: Hollis-Jefferson could see a bump in his floor time if his shooting has progressed. That question makes this a bit of a hedge at 28-34 minutes per game. Faried and Dudley will likely split most of the rest of the minutes, with Faried likely to get the heavier load.
Another X-factor at the 4 is DeMarre Carroll, who may see some time as a stretch 4 if he loses his starting gig at the small forward spot.