The NBA offseason. One of the greatest times in any NBA fan’s life. A time for new beginnings and hope for each NBA team to become amazing.
The Brooklyn Nets need this to be an amazing offseason. They have major holes all over the roster that can be filled this offseason with some smart moves by Sean Marks and the front office.
The Nets currently hold the 22nd, 27th, and 57th picks in the NBA Draft and have close to 20 million dollars in cap room, which can still increase.
This gives the Nets tons of options at filling the gaping holes in the roster, but each need can be addressed in either the draft or free agency
The Nets had one good rebounder on the team which was Trevor Booker, who actually rode the bench for most of the season. Star center Brook Lopez was a liability on the boards during most games, only getting 5.4 rebounds a night.
Starting power forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was well undersized for the PF position but his rebounding ability wasn’t affected by that much. He averaged 5.8 rebounds a game, which is still underwhelming but good considering that Rondae stands at six foot seven inches. Booker averaged 8.0 rebounds a game which was good for best on the team.
This leaves the Nets with the undeniable decision to go out and get a solid rebounder.
Draft option- PF Ivan Rabb, California Gold Bears
Rabb was an amazing rebounder for the Golden Bears last year, averaging about 10.1 rebounds a game for Cal. With the Nets looking like they’re not going to make Trevor Booker their starting power forward for next season, it would be smart to try and search the rebounding power forward prospects. Rabb stands at six foot ten inches and weighs 220 lbs.
He would make tons of sense to pick with the 27th pick, he is exactly what the Nets need, a big four with a large frame who can score in the paint and has elite rebounding talent.
Free Agency option- PF JaMychal Green
Green is a young, athletic forward who is already putting up the same rebounding numbers as Booker. Green averages 7.1 boards a game, which is less than Booker, but still a major upgrade of Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Also, Green is only 24 years old so he has tons of potential to grow and improve other aspects of his game. Like Bell, Green is a very good sized power forward standing at six foot nine inches and weighing 227 lbs. Both of these players would fill the need for rebounding for the Nets.
The Nets leading shot blocker this past season was franchise center Brook Lopez, who blocked 1.7 shots a game.
Justin Hamilton, the Nets backup center, was next on that list but wasn’t even close to the production of Lopez, only blocking 0.7 shots a game. The Nets starting power forward, for most of the season, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, only had 0.6 blocks a game.
The Nets were 18th in the league in blocks per game. Obviously, the Nets need to address this need in the offseason.
Draft Option- PF Jordan Bell, Oregon
Jordan Bell was an elite shot blocker for the Ducks last season, especially in the NCAA Tournament.
Bell had 8 blocks in the Elite Eight game versus Kansas and another four in the Final Four game against North Carolina, where they lost by one. In total, Bell had averaged 3.2 blocks a game in the biggest stage in college basketball, the NCAA Tournament. During the regular season, Bell averaged 2.3 blocks a game.
While Bell’s offensive game isn’t amazing, his rebounding and blocking ability would complement Lopez’s elite scoring ability well. Bell should be available at the 27th pick.
Free Agency Option- PF Serge Ibaka
Sticking with the power forward market, since the center position is pretty much set with Lopez, Serge Ibaka is one of the best shot blockers in the NBA. He’s made three all-defensive first teams and has led the league in blocked shots five separate times.
This past season Ibaka was 10th in the league in blocked shots per game, averaging 1.5 blocks per game. Ibaka is only 27 years old and he is just entering his prime. A power forward-center duo of Serge Ibaka and Brook Lopez would be absolutely deadly on both sides of the ball.
While Kenny Atkinson has made the Nets offense completely centered around the three-point shot, the Nets have one of the worst three-point shooting percentages in the league at 33.8%, good for 26th in the NBA.
The Nets best shooter last year was Brook Lopez, who’s offensive abilities in the paint are much more needed than his three-point shooting. Plus, he only made 34% of his shots from three. The Nets second best shooter, Joe Harris shot 32% three-point percentage, but his shot selection was horrible and is not a good enough defender to play significant minutes.
This free agency is stock full of good shooters, but the draft, not so much. With the Nets picking at 22nd and 27th in the first round, all of the good shooters will have already been picked. The type of players that are still on the board mostly consist of athletic guards and center and power forwards who cannot shoot.
Draft Option- G Frank Jackson, Duke
Jackson surprisingly declared for the draft after a decent freshman year at Duke. One thing that seems to be consistent about Duke prospects is their ability to shoot the ball, Luke Kennard and Grayson Allen are two great examples.
Last season, Jackson shot 39% from the three-point line and averaged 10.9 PPG. Jackson only averaged 1.7 assists per game, which is very low for a point guard, so Kenny Atkinson would probably put him at the two guard spot next season. Jackson is currently projected to be picked in the late first round- early second round.
Free Agency Option- SG Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
The Nets have been targeting Caldwell-Pope ever since May, during the NBA season. The Nets have been linked to him, as well as Washington Wizards player Otto Porter, as players they are trying to acquire to fit Atkinson’s three-point based offense.
Caldwell-Pope would most likely start at the shooting guard spot and Caris LeVert would start at the small forward spot. Last season Caldwell-Pope shot 35% from three last year, not spectacular, but that paired with Lopez’s 34% from three last year would make for a lot better of a three-point shooting starting lineup.