Even Billy King's cost-driven rebuilding isn't getting all rave reviews.
ESPN's Steve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann may have the most negative view of the Nets off-season. They write that measured by Real Plus-Minus, (RPM), "the next big thing," the Nets did the worst among 30 teams, arguing they "managed to create negative surplus value this summer -- to pay their newly signed free agents far more than the value they're expected to generate."
Despite the Nets cost-cutting, they write...
[A]ccording to our analysis the Nets have still managed to overspend in free agency more than any other team. Specifically, Brooklyn's six major signings have generated a whopping $74 million deficit in surplus value. In other words, the team has spent far more on these players than the real value they're likely getting in return.
Ilardi and Engelmann are particularly down on the Brook Lopez signing, writing, in part...
[E]ven if Lopez somehow proves capable of staying on the court for another 2,100 minutes during each of the next 3 seasons, his surprisingly pedestrian Predictive RPM (+0.24) is still far too low to justify his new $21 million-per-year salary. Remarkably, despite his rim protection, skilled post game and advanced ability to play facing the basket, Lopez no longer moves the needle in terms of team efficiency.
They like the Knicks signing of Robin Lopez better. Ilardi and Engelmann also take swipes at virtually every other signing Billy King made.
[T]he team somehow managed to overpay for nearly every player they acquired. For example, they're paying Thaddeus Young -- essentially a league-average player (+0.34 RPM) -- $14 million a year for a guaranteed four years. And they've signed three players, Andrea Bargnani, Thomas Robinson and Shane Larkin, whose contributions project far below replacement level according to RPM. Even on minimum contracts, such players are overpaid.
And so, the bottom line is ... "it looked more like: same old, same old."