Brooklyn Nets basketball is less than 24 hours from being officially back. The offseason was quite dramatic, but that's inevitable because well, what's a Brooklyn Nets off-season without something extaordinary occurring? With the Nets first regular season game just hours away, the latest Nets drama is about Brook Lopez, who is doubtful with a minor sprain of his right foot -- the one that was operated on.
So we highlight in chronological order, the Nets hectic off-season from start to finish. Here it is:
The Brooklyn Nets knew they weren't going to bring Blatche back. He went on to decline his $1.43 million option with the Nets on June 20th. Keep in mind, Jason Kidd was still the head coach at the time, and he and Blatche did not have the best relationship. In essence, Blatche's antics pushed him out of the NBA (hence why he's playing China, not the NBA).
This was just the beginning of Plumlee's soon-to-be fantastic summer. The 22nd pick in the 2014 NBA Draft was honored after averaging 7.4 points on 65.9 percent shooting from the floor, 4.0 rebounds, 0.7 steals and 0.8 blocks in 18.2 minutes per game. He was the first Nets rookie to receive the honor since Brook Lopez in the 2008-2009 season.
Williams has been hurt since the Nets made the move to Brooklyn. He and team officials decided it was time to address the real issue once and for all. Here's what Williams said after the loss that knocked Brooklyn out in the playoffs."I feel like I've kind of let people down, so I don't like feeling like that," Williams said. "I take my job seriously, I work hard in the offseason, I work hard every day. It's just real frustrating not to be able to play how I'm capable of playing." It's taken Williams time to get back, but the organization is anticipating a bounce-back season for the Nets point guard.
Still uncertain with his future in Brooklyn, Andray Blatche was headed to the FIBA World Cup representing the Philippines. Who even knew?
It was quiet and very under the radar, but the man who is Prokhorov's No. 2 and Billy King's partner was named chairman of the Nets board of directors, replacing another executive from Prokhorov's ONEXIM corporation.
After having one of his worst seasons in the NBA, Andrei Kirilenko decided to stick around and give Brooklyn another shot. The straight-out-of-Russia veteran played just 45 games in the 2013-2014 season and averaged a career-low five points per game in just 19 minutes per game, another career-low. After taking it easy in the 2013 off-season, he started conditioning earlier this summer and it apparently work. He has had some back tightness -- not soreness -- but quickly recovered.
What does this mean for the team? Well, the brand new facility is expected to be another enticing factor for free agents when weighing their off-season options. The location of the facility on the Brooklyn waterfront is yet another connection to the city of New York and the borough of Brooklyn.
June 26th: Draft Day -- Following a few last-minute trades, the Nets wind up with Markel Brown, Cory Jefferson and Xavier Thames.
Judge it how you'd like, but the Nets went into the draft with no picks and minimal flexibility and still found a way to come out with three young prospects. Xavier Thames went overseas, but Markel Brown and Cory Jefferson -- two standouts at their Division I schools -- ended up making the Nets roster. Not so bad for two second-round picks. Interesting enough, the Nets were especially high on Brown, who they had mocked at the 22nd pick. He dropped to 44, and the Nets were all over it.
The Nets signed Brown and Cory Jefferson to multi-year (but not fully guaranteed) deals on July 23rd.
Where were you when you heard about the Jason Kidd debacle? What a bizarre sequence of events! The Nets' so-called "face of franchise" and future at the head coaching position was on the outs after one season in Brooklyn. Officials inside the organization say that Kidd wanted to be in control of the Nets' basketball operations. He denied it. What a mess that was. Combined with the three second rounders the Nets bought at the Draft, they added five picks in four days.
It was somewhat expected with the Warriors able to offer Livingston $6 million more than the Nets could. The Kidd-saga didn't help Livingston's motivation, either. Kidd was the main reason Livingston had been offered a contract in the first place. While in Brooklyn, Livingston averaged 8.3 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 76 games, easily his best season since he went down with a horrifici injury in 2004.
It was quick and easy for Billy King and the Nets. It took less than a week in fact. Hollins is the seventh Nets coach since their disastrous 12-70 season in 2009-10. He follows Lawrence Frank, Tom Barrise, Kiki Vandeweghe, Avery Johnson, P.J. Carlesimo and Kidd.
Just eight days after Shaun Livingston found his way OUT of Brooklyn, Billy King made a bold move to get a solid backup point guard IN Brooklyn. With all the injuries to Deron Williams, it's crucial for the Nets to have a reliable backup point guard, just in case things don't go as planned. Jack is that guy, and the team has high expectations for him, believing he will have a bounce-back season. Don't sleep on the acquisition of Karasev either. He may not make an impact in his first season in Brooklyn, but the Russian native is only 21 years old with plenty of room for improvement.
This was extremely controversial around Nets nation. Pierce averaged a career-low 13.5 points per game during his one season in Brooklyn, but still played a key role in turning their season around and making a decent playoff run. His numbers may have declined, but his leadership is something the Nets will certainly miss.
It was only a day after Paul Pierce was on his way to Washington that word came Kevin Garnett had decided to opt in to his final year in Brooklyn worth $12 million. Garnett later said his decision was not dependent on Pierce's fate, that he liked Brooklyn's directiion.
It only took three years and $10.3 million to lure the Turkish-league star to Brooklyn, but Billy King and Dmitry Razumov made it happen. Now, with the season hours away, Bogdanovic is the starting shooting guard of the Brooklyn Nets, and appears to be clearly worth the wait. We'll see, but it's certainly not a bad sign that a 25-year old is a starting on a playoff-caliber team in his rookie season. In fact, Bogdanovic will be the first Nets rookie to start on Opening Night since 2000 when Keyon Martin and Stephen Jackson started for New Jersey.
Things were only going to get better for the Nets' big man out of Duke.
Assistant coaches: Paul Westphal (Head assistant), John Welch, Tony Brown, Joe Wolf and Jay Humphries. Jim Sann named the team's assistant coach/advance scout.
The Nets' offseason was suddenly growing very old. The roster was almost full and the coaching staff was solidified. From this date up until the beginning of training camp, the news was mostly Mason Plumlee and his incredible journey with Team USA. In a matter of weeks, Plumlee transitioned from toiling on the Nets' summer league roster to joining the soon-to-be gold-medal winning Team USA. Critics said Plumlee was mostly on the squad because of his Duke connection with Coach Mike Krzyzewski. That was immediately shot down by Coach K and others.
Plumlee contributed in many ways that other big men could not. A big man with the ability to run the floor and defend the hoop, who also had a knack to score and rebound at an efficient rate, without needing the ball every possession. A very rewarding accomplishment for Plumlee and Billy King, who drafted Plumlee late in the first round.
... Then came training camp. ...
Little to no importance when the news first broke, but this later proved to be a fantastic addition (see Oct. 27).
September 17-19: Nets sign, then void contract of Hamady Ndiaye two days after being signed to training camp.
Two days after announcing that they had signed the 7-footer to a camp contract -- with a $25,000 guarantee if he made the team, the Nets announced they had voided his deal after he failed a physical. With Ndiaye's departure, this gave Jerome Jordan an even bigger chance to prove himself worthy of the Nets third center spot.
October 16th: With opening night just 13 days away, Nets announce Brook Lopez to sit out 10-14 days with "mild sprain" to right foot.
And just like that, the panic is back. The foot that essentially has the Nets season riding on it was once again hurt in what the Nets call a "mild sprain" during a preseason game against the Kings in China. Lopez was supposed be out 10-to-14 days, but as opening night in Boston is just a day away, the Nets say Lopez is 'doubtful' to play. Since the injury, Lopez has only participated in non-contract drills at practice.
Nets sent Marquis Teague and the Milwaukee Bucks' second round pick to the 76ers in return for Casper Ware, who was then dropped by Brooklyn following the move. Teague seemed OK when he found out the news:
Blessings!!!!!— Marquis Teague (@marquisteague25) October 24, 2014
Teague was then dropped by the 76ers two days after the trade was completed.
With two days left until the regular season, the Nets made their final roster official with a 15-man roster after the announcement of them keeping Jorge Gutierrez, Jerome Jordan and Cory Jefferson. Jordan shined in the preseason, averaging seven points and four rebounds per game. He's set to earn $100,000 on his vets minimum salary.
Now, FINALLY, the Brooklyn Nets season is ready to begin. It was a fun and hectic offseason/training camp, but it's safe to say Coach Hollins and the Nets are ready to launch their third season in Brooklyn, and hope to make it another winning season. Now let the games begin.