2010 NBA Off Season Preview: New Jersey Nets

New Jersey Nets

2010 record: 12-70

Unrestricted free agents: Bobby Simmons, Tony Battie, Trenton Hassell, Rafer Alston, Shawne Williams, Jarvis Hayes, Sean Williams, Chris Quinn
Team option: Keyon Dooling, Chris Douglas-Roberts
Player option: Kris Humphries

C - Brook Lopez, Josh Boone
PF - Yi Jianlian, Kris Humphries (P)
SF - Terrence Williams
SG - Courtney Lee
PG - Devin Harris

The New Jersey Nets just completed one of the worst seasons in NBA history, but there are some bright spots. Most notably, new ownership. Russian bad ass Mikhail Prokhorov recently took control of the team, and he is getting his hands dirty. He wants to market the team globally, move them to Brooklyn, change the team name and more. But how will all this help them in 2010-2011? Well, they have a ton of cap space, the third pick in the draft, and unlike many teams with this bad of a record, some young talent.

Let's start with the good.

Brook Lopez. It was a head scratcher when he fell to 10th in the 2008 draft. Since then he has played in all 164 games in two seasons, and this year approached 20 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 50% field goal shooting and 80% from the free throw line. And he only averages 3 fouls per game, meaning he can stay on the court for most of the game. A real center with offensive talent is hard to come by and a player the Nets should construct their roster around.

Devin Harris. After a very rough start to the season, he really came on the second half. He might not be a franchise point guard, but he is a good starter, and with the Nets not lucking out on John Wall, will be counted on in 2010-2011. He showed how good he could be in February, averaging 20 points and 9 assists that month.

Courntey Lee and Terrence Williams. These two both had some serious ups and downs this season, but could be the starting shooting guard and small forwards if no upgrades are brought alone. At worst, one of them will make a good sixth man. Lee is basically a scorer, who really decided he wanted to shoot and shoot some more from the 3 point line. He made 33% of his shots, which isn't bad, and could be a 15 point per game scorer next year. Williams playing time was up and down for much of the season, but he ended the year with an insane triple double and can fill up the stat sheet.

Other then that, there really isn't too much to be excited about. Chris Douglas-Roberts had an okay season, and with a low team option he may be back next year. Yi Jianlian had another mediocre season and doesn't look right now like he is a starting power forward. With the Nets picking third, it could be a good idea to draft Derrick Favors, which would be an upgrade almost immediately.

What the Nets also have is cap space. Lots of it. While I would love to see LeBron James play with Brook Lopez and Devin Harris, it is not a realistic option. He can't justify leaving a 60+ win team for a team that won 12 games last year. Not to mention will be playing in Newark for a couple years. But there are plenty of good players available, such as Joe Johnson, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh and David Lee. Would Lee and Johnson work with this team? Who knows.

What we do know is the Nets have three of the top 31 picks in the draft, young talent and an owner who is committed to making things happen. It should be an interesting off-season for the Nets.

Draft discussion.

The Nets have the 3rd, 30th and 31st picks in the draft. They really missed out on #1 and #2, which would have brought them instant starters in John Wall or Evan Turner. But they at least get to pick third. I think Derrick Favors is the guy. He is still raw, yes, but Yi Jianlian will pose no threat to Favors minutes and development. He is a high flyer who could be one of those 6'9 guys who win a slam dunk contest. I think we would be talking about him more if he played for a Kentucky instead of a Georgia Tech. Even if the Nets bring along a Carlos Boozer, David Lee or Chris Bosh, Favors would still be a good first big man off the bench. Still, he's no John Wall.

With the 30th and 31st picks the Nets can bring in two guys who can help the team right away. We are seeing more and more that plenty of guys taken in the first half of the second round often produce just as well or even better then the first round guys. The Nets could do well to take a back up point guard like Armon Johnson or Greivis Vazquez. Jerome Jordan of Tulsa could be a solid backup center for Lopez.

Jonathan Carrano

Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.

No comments: