It's not easy being a Brooklyn Nets fan. Having people tell you that your team has no future, and realizing they're not far off from the truth hurts even more.
It's not easy being a Nets fan. Having people tell you that your team has no future, and realizing they're not far off from the truth hurts even more.
Still, optimism can still be found. The Nets this year had a complete makeover. On February 18, Sean Marks was appointed their new general manager. On April 17, Kenny Atkinson joined as their head coach. From there, things changed, like trading Thaddeus Young for 20th pick Caris LeVert and signing Jeremy Lin and Trevor Booker. So, what should everyone expect from this new Nets squad?
Well, it's obvious to see that Brooklyn has taken out the rebuilding blueprint. It would have been practically impossible to continue trying to win with their past rank. They needed something different, and they got it. So, let's examine some of the players they have.
First off, the biggest addition to the team this year was Jeremy Lin. Coming from the Charlotte Hornets, he averaged 11.7 points, 3.0 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game. Considering he only started 13 games out of 78, those are solid numbers. Now that he's a Net, he will provide some needed offense and frankly, leadership. The Nets were looking for a starting point guard since Jarrett Jack was dismissed, and Lin answers their questions. Could he bring some of that "Linsanity" spark that he once had with the New York Knicks? That remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure, he'll give his all and provide the Nets some talent.
Let's get a little younger, and talk about shooting guard Caris LeVert. During his last season in college, he averaged 16.5 points and 4.9 assists. He's a sharpshooter, with amazing athletic ability. Along with his long frame and wiry build, he's a good passer with a high IQ on the court. With all these qualities, you're left wondering how he fell to the 20th pick. Well, the injury bug has bit him in the past. He's had three surgeries so far in the same place. Also, at the Draft Combine, it was official that he had a Jones fracture. His game isn't the problem. It's his health that's something to be cautious about. The Nets will more than likely start him off slow. If LeVert gets a feel for the game, he'll give the Nets accurate shooting and youth. He definitely belongs in this league, it's just a question of how long can he be durable in it.
Last but not least, you can't forget about one of the best Nets players of all time; Brook Lopez. Averaging a stellar 20.6 points, 7.8 boards, and 1.7 blocks per game last season. He is the best player in Brooklyn without a doubt. It's also nice to see how involved he wants to be in the Nets rebuilding plan, otherwise, he wouldn't have re-signed with them. He recently said, "It really is an exciting time to be around the team and be following the team, just because everything really is new and we have such a blank, clean slate." Lopez and Lin will be the two leaders of the young and growing Nets team, so it will be interesting to see what they do with a team right in the palm of their hands.
There are other players to look out for, like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. Hopefully, he improves and doesn't have a sophomore slump. If he stays away from injuries, he should do well. Bojan Bogdanovic is still on the team, ready to knock down three's and offer versatility. You also have the likes of Greivis Vasquez, Anthony Bennett, and Luis Scola.
Overall, the Nets have a nice mix of youth and veterans. The playoffs aren't something realistic right now, so this season is about seeing how all of the players develop and gel.