The Nets seemingly mortgaged their future last summer by acquiring Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, and the team is still lacking assets going forward. ESPN has taken note of this, ranking the team last in their yearly installment of "Future Power Rankings."
Several ESPN writers calculated a score for each team based on a different amount of variables, and the Nets posted a league-low scorer of 27.04, down from 45.2 last season, which was 19 best in the league.
ESPN writer Amin Elhassan notes that the Nets are in trouble due to a failed belief in buying championships and not developing from within.
This is Russian for "welcome to the basement!" -- which is where the Ghosts of Bad Decisions Past have banished the Nets to for the foreseeable future.
When they gave pick-swap rights to Atlanta for the right to overpay Joe Johnson, we said in unison, "No!"
When they gave up all those unprotected first-rounders for the last gasps of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry, we all cried, "Don't do it!"
When their luxury tax dwarfed the total payroll of every other NBA team, we collectively face-palmed.
But it didn't matter, as the Nets steamrolled their way to a team destined to be a second-round knockout, doubling down on an aging roster with limited upside. Add onto that Lawrence Frank debacle a month into last season, and the failed coup (and eventual departure) by Jason Kidd this summer, and it's easy to place the Nets among the most dysfunctional franchises in the NBA. As a result, here they are, with no cap respite until 2016, a depleted pick inventory and no blue-chip talent outside of the oft-injured Brook Lopez.
Mason Plumlee, Sergey Karasev and Bojan Bogdanovic are nice complementary pieces, and hiring Lionel Hollins was a solid move after the Kidd misstep, but the infrastructure in Brooklyn is so rotten that success cannot be realized without serious overhaul.
In the five categories judged, the Nets worst was in the section labeled "draft" where they had a scorer of 7 out of 100. There best category was "market" where they posted a score of 79 out of 100, an increase from last season.
- NBA Future Power Rankings - ESPN
Nets finish last in ESPN Insider's rankings - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York