The Nets are generally meeting their off-season goals, re-signing Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, filling out their bench with young players, drafting well. But as Mike Mazzeo points out, their competition in the East may be doing better.
He summarizes the situation this way...
The Atlanta Hawks added Tiago Splitter despite losing DeMarre Carroll to the defending Atlantic Division-champion Toronto Raptors. The Raptors themselves lost Lou Williams and Amir Johnson, but managed to bring in Cory Joseph.
The Washington Wizards will try to replace Paul Pierce with a combination of Jared Dudley, Gary Neal and perhaps others, while the Milwaukee Bucks only got better with the addition of Greg Monroe to go along with their emerging young core of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton and Michael Carter-Williams.
The Boston Celtics still have a superstar coach in Brad Stevens, the Miami Heat retained Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade, and the Indiana Pacers successfully re-tooled, adding Monta Ellis to a younger, smaller, more athletic mix that hopefully includes a now healthy Paul George. And it stands to reason that the Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers and New York Knicks will all be better, if only because it would be hard from them to be any worse.
That's a pretty daunting view of the East and let's not forget the Nets, who did win only 38 games, could lose two of their top three-point shooters in Mirza Teletovic and Alan Anderson. And despite signing Thomas Robinson, they still need depth upfront. Not to mention what the loss of Joe Johnson would do to their go-to plans.
Free agency isn't over and trade season hasn't really started, but as Mazzeo and others point out, the East may not be the West, but it's getting better.
- Nets are still a work in progress - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York