The Nets are without their first round pick, which is not a great thing for their rebuild, but it is something that they will need to work around. The positive thing for the Nets is that they have long term deals already signed with Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young. Both players are developing together and with healthy seasons, showed that they are definitely capable NBA contributors. In regards to their season as whole, their stats show that their shooting percentages were what dragged them down.
Here are the per game stats for the 2015-2016 Brooklyn Nets:
W-L FG% 3P% FT FTA ORB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 21-61 .453 .352 15.7 20.7 10.5 22.3 7.6 4.0 14.8 18.0 98.6
And these are the per game stats for their opponents:
W-L FG% 3P% FT FTA ORB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS 61-21 .479 .369 15.0 19.6 10.2 24.5 8.8 5.2 14.2 18.4 106.0
Even though their win number was amongst the lowest in the NBA, the Nets main issue was their efficiency. Although not mentioned in the statistics above, the Nets ranked in the bottom five in both offensive and defensive efficiency ratings. If this team is looking to improve heading into next season, their path forward will have to include lots of personnel changes.
Usually I would talk about a team’s draft prospects here, but without any picks in the first round, there is nothing to talk about yet. It is still a possibility that the Nets could make a trade to sneak back into the draft, but with no news of that on the horizon, it is safe to say that they will be lacking a top-tier prospect heading into next year.
Their biggest question regarding their current roster is if the Nets are comfortable with their current wings. Bojan Bogdanovic and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson have both showed signs of being capable players, but are they starters on a good team? If they do in fact believe that one of these players can join Young and Lopez in their future core, then their free agency outlook will turn towards an upgrade in the back court. With many players probably testing free agency and a lack of draft picks, the Nets will have to fill out their roster with free agent talent.
The #1 priority for the Nets will be to target a point guard. This could include Mike Conley, Rajon Rondo, or Brandon Jennings as unrestricted free agents. If the Nets look to throw money at a restricted guard, then the likes of Jordan Clarkson and/or Matthew Dellavedova would be thrown in the mix. If the Nets were to lock down a solid starting point guard, their next need would be to chase wings. In a free agent class that lacks great options at point guard, I think it is more likely that the Nets would make a big offer to a scorer on the wing.
Although it is unlikely that a player like Kevin Durant would sign with the Nets, there are plenty of wing scorers that the Nets could be involved with. In terms of unrestricted free agents, DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal, or Nicolas Batum seem to be viable options. Batum will probably end up staying in Charlotte, but the other two will be looking for maximum contracts this summer. Evan Fournier and Harrison Barnes could also be solid additions, but they are restricted. It is possible that Barnes might be lured away from Golden State, but I think it is very likely that Fournier remains in Orlando.
The Nets still have lots of work to do this summer in order to become a playoff team in the East, but you can expect them to be making lots of phone calls. If they can add a star to their core of Lopez and Young, their outlook for next season will become much brighter.
Previous Offseason Forecast: Los Angeles Lakers (17-65)
Next Offseason Forecast: Phoenix Suns (23-59)
And that’s all I have for now, so this is me…signing off. -Lukas.