Mike Mazzeo takes a look at the ESPN report that the Nets are interested in moving their so-called "Big Three" -- Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez -- and thinks that doing so will be very difficult ... and in discussing the pro's and con's, offers harsh, but detailed assessments of each player's downside, why teams are unlikely to offer top value in return.
He is sometimes guilty of making head-scratching decisions in crucial times during games, and has struggled in the clutch, shooting 5-for-17 this season in the last five minutes of games in which the Nets are ahead or behind by five.
It seems like team chemistry is always an issue when Williams is involved, too. He has developed the reputation of a "coach killer," and has never been touted for his leadership skills.
Lopez has recorded just 12 assists on 629 touches.
Frequently on the receiving end of criticism from hard-nosed coach Lionel Hollins, the easy-going Lopez has struggled to protect the rim (50.3 percent against) and rebound (6.2 per game).
Johnson, 33, has been quite durable but he’s getting up there in age and has said his body is starting to feel it ... Since calling out his teammates for being selfish, Johnson is averaging just 13.6 points per game while shooting 27 percent from 3-point territory.
Mazzeo calls the Nets current situation "no man's land," where their options are limited...
Because of questionable decision-making by management, including dealing away a bevy of future first-round picks and adding on several onerous contracts in an effort to win now, that’s exactly where the Nets are.
Rebuilding would be tough. Remember: Atlanta can swap firsts with Brooklyn in 2015 (as a part of the Johnson trade), and Boston owns Brooklyn’s unprotected firsts in 2016 and 2018 and can swap firsts with the Nets in 2017
Bottom line for him is that despite their individual talents, they aren't exactly world beaters. "They are just 16-30 together against .500 or better opponents."
- Why trading Nets' big three would be tough - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York