Damn you, NBA draft!
I thought the season was over but it feels like it's begun anew again, with the lockout drama escalating, and potentially impending free agency should a deal be struck.
The Nets yesterday added Marshon Brooks and Jordan Williams, both (I believe) 4 year collegians. The thought of adding a guy like Marcus Thornton (seemingly) goes out the window, and the Nets, with two solid SG assets in Morrow and Brooks, with Bogdanovic waiting in the wings next year, are now able to set their sights on fixing the small forward position.
Now, a lot of us, including me, believe in Damion James, although everybody to a different degree. Damion never got the chance to get going on a regular basis, and of course, you have to hope he isn't injury prone. But I say give him the chance to be an integral part of the rotation next year. He missed a lot of time but he also got to spend a lot of time around the team, at practices. He will not be a rookie, much like Blake Griffin wasn't a rookie even though he spent a year injured.
Meanwhile, the Nets need to add a solid veteran who is a team glue-guy, in addition to another front court defender off the bench. I think the glue-guy is going to come at small forward, and there are some good options. Caron Butler, Shane Battier, Tayshaun Prince (not as high on him though) are all guys that are advancing in age but still have a lot left to offer. Butler is coming off an injury, and he could be a good use of a 1 year deal. Battier improves every team he is with and might be worth signing to a modest two year deal.
Whatever the Nets do, it's imperative that they don't take the kind of chance they took on a Travis Outlaw, an unproven young player that is signed for projected stats based on things they have done on the stat sheet, in small sample sets, rather than what the scout's eyes see on the court.
The Nets need a leader in addition to Deron Williams, who is an amazing player but obviously had some chemistry issues with his guys in Utah (for instance, the angry pass to Gordon Hayward that was probably the height of the Jazz's frustration.) Battier I think would be the perfect solution but there are others, too, who could do the job. With so many young guys trying to shape their games together into a cohesive unit, you need a veteran presence, and these guys can do just that.