The Nets have to like their point guard situation, with D’Angelo Russell reportedly primed for a breakout season and Spencer Dinwiddie coming off a breakout campaign of his own in which he was a finalist for Most Improved Player honors.
Brooklyn also added Shabazz Napier as a free agent in the offseason to provide a bit more depth, an area where the Nets got caught short last season after Russell and former Net Jeremy Lin were injured.
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Russell’s challenge will be to become the Nets’ unquestioned leader on the floor and to become more efficient.
He averaged 15.5 points per game last season to go with 5.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds, but his shooting was just .414/.324/.740 on 14 shots per game, the most on the club.
Dinwiddie’s shooting numbers were less than stellar as well, as he put up .387/.326/.813 slash marks while averaging 12.6 points and a team-best 6.6 assists a night.
Napier, like big man Ed Davis coming to the Nets from Portland, shot .420/.376/.841 — not great, but the best of his four-year career thus far. However, Napier played primarily off the ball with the Blazers and averaged only 2.0 assists per game.
Pinson can also run the point — he did so at North Carolina last season — and LeVert can also handle the playmaking duties.
The playing time here could be dramatically affected if GM Sean Marks opts to trade Dinwiddie, who is in the final year of a very team-friendly contract and isn’t eligible to talk extension until early December.
But assuming this combination is what the Nets will work with …
Projections: Russell could see a jump to the 30-32 minutes per game range, with Dinwiddie splitting 24 minutes or so between the 1 and 2. Napier gets what’s left over.