The Brooklyn Nets have undoubtedly have had a rough past few seasons, these past two seasons to be specific. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, Brooklyn have about a 25% win percentage. They also traded away a first round pick this year that turned out to be the first overall pick. The Nets have surely reached rock bottom in the National Basketball Association, but that means that the only way left to go is up, right?
When you look at what assets this team has, you quickly realize that they don’t have that many. They have the 22nd pick in this year’s NBA Draft, which won’t get them the top talent that they are desperately in need of. As for their best players, you can’t look past big man Brook Lopez. He averaged over 20 points per game for them this season. They also have a solid point guard in Jeremy Lin, who spent most of this past season injured. Sean Kilpatrick established a name for himself this season, putting up 13 points and 4 rebounds every night.
The list just about ends there. The team is in a rebuilding process, and gave up their best picks in the coming years. It all started with a terrible trade that Brooklyn completed a couple years back. The Nets would acquire veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Jason Terry. These players were way past their prime and didn’t end up contributing to the team enough to bring them the championship that manager Billy King promised the city.
What Brooklyn gave up was much more. They handed the Boston Celtics a solid Gerald Wallace and 3 first rounds picks. Those picks turned out to be Marcus Smart and the first overall pick in this year’s draft.
Now Brooklyn are in full recovery mode, and they need some defensive protection inside the paint. Brook Lopez is known for being a crafty offensive post, but his defense and rebounding are much less than remarkable. He only averaged 5.4 rebounds per game this season. They allowed an average of 112.5 points per game to opponents, the 2nd worst in the league. They could use a force at the four to keep that tally down.
As a team, the Nets averaged 34% from 3 point range, which puts them 26th in the league. This simply has to improve if they take 31.6 3 point shots per game. They only had one player on the entire squad who shot above 40% from beyond the arc, and that is Quincy Acy, who averaged 6.5 points each game. A good small forward that could shoot the ball could give Brooklyn a more consistent perimeter threat.
Speaking of small forwards, Bojan Bogdanovic has left Brooklyn for the Washington Wizards, which makes the Nets starting 3 Caris LeVert, who is backed up by Joe Harris. This position is just not good enough to put out on the floor every night. They need a solid two way small forward that can fit straight into the starting lineup.
It is evident that Brooklyn have some serious work to do on their squad. Coming off of two straight seasons at the bottom of their conference, the Brooklyn Nets must show some form of improvement heading into this next NBA season. With huge gaps in their starting lineup and a team that can’t defend their paint, this franchise needs to prepare to dive deep into free agency and fill out their roster to even compete with the rest of the league.