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2014-2015 Brooklyn Nets Player Review: End of the Bench

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

They say that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Did this principle apply to the Nets in 2014-15?

Yes and no.

The play of Sergey Karasev, Cory Jefferson, Jerome Jordan, Darius Morris and Earl Clark didn’t determine the outcome of Brooklyn’s season, but each one of them shined and struggled at some point during the year.

Most prominent was Karasev, the 21-year-old forward who came to the borough along with Jarrett Jack when the Cleveland Cavaliers’ went crazy with cap-clearing moves for LeBron James’ return.

He progressively earned Lionel Hollins' trust and started 16 games before going down with a season-ending knee injury in early March. Brooklyn could’ve really used him against the Atlanta Hawks in Round 1.

Like Karasev, all of the others (except for Morris), are in line for a return to the team

STATS

2014-2015

Sergey Ksrasev

Games Played

33

Minutes per game

16.8

True Shooting percentage

50.8

Assist rate

20.8

Turnover rate

10.9

Usage rate

14.9

Rebound rate

6.7

PER

10.5

Win Shares per 48

.061


2014-2015

Cory Jefferson

Games Played

50

Minutes per game

16.6

True Shooting percentage

48

Assist rate

7.1

Turnover rate

8.8

Usage rate

17.4

Rebound rate

15.2

PER

13.2

Win Shares per 48

.071

2014-2015

Jerome Jordan

Games Played

44

Minutes per game

16.6

True Shooting percentage

60.9

Assist rate

8.8

Turnover rate

14.8

Usage rate

15.7

Rebound rate

15.1

PER

16.8

Win Shares per 48

.156

2014-2015

Darius Morris

Games Played

38

Minutes per game

16.6

True Shooting percentage

45.9

Assist rate

13

Turnover rate

9

Usage rate

14.9

Rebound rate

7.7

PER

6.7

Win Shares per 48

-.068

2014-2015

Earl Clark

Games Played

10

Minutes per game

9.3

True Shooting percentage

42.5

Assist rate

7.4

Turnover rate

14.7

Usage rate

17.6

Rebound rate

12.6

PER

6.7

Win Shares per 48

-0.037


SALARY

  • Karasev: due $6 million through 2017-18 with a team option in 2016-17
  • Jefferson: sub-$1 million contract next year if Brooklyn picks up team option, restricted free agent in 2016-17
  • Jordan: restricted free agent this summer with a qualifying offer set at $1 million
  • Morris: unrestricted free agent this summer
  • Clark: team option worth $1 million for next season

BEST MOMENT

From a fan’s perspective, Jefferson’s thunderous dunks throughout the season were probably the top highlight from this crew. Some of his most jaw-dropping slams are below.

From a purely X's-and-O's perspective, Karasev breaking into a starting role and Morris getting some decent minutes with Deron Williams sidelined in January were both super important.

NEEDS TO

Improve. It’s that simple.

Last week, general manager Billy King reiterated time and time again that the team’s younger players -- the guys this list, Bojan Bogdanovic, Mason Plumlee and Markel Brown -- need to get better.

"We’ve got to start [internally], build from within, add pieces that complement [each other] and continue to grow," King said. "We can’t keep turning over the roster every year thinking that we’re going to find [answers] outside."

With Brooklyn strapped for cap space and draft stock, it’s crucial that some, if not all, of these young guns take a sizable leap next season and become a bigger part of Hollins’ rotation.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

IN THE FUTURE

The Nets will need these guys to step up. Whether they will or not remains to be seen, but each one flashed potential during the season.

Their flaws were on display, too, but Brooklyn can’t dwell on that. This team can no longer look outside, as King emphasized. If there isn’t a significant improvement from this group as a whole, depending on how many return, the Nets will be in a world of trouble.

GRADE: B