In a measured analysis, the staff of Basketball Insiders see the Nets "on the outside looking in" at the playoffs, but think the team's change in culture --getting younger, dumping Deron Williams, thinking more longer-term-- could make this season a bump in the road.
There's few analytics and a lot of words, but nothing approaching others' descriptions of the team as "putrid" and "pocket lint." The closest they get is Joel Brigham's "a pretty sad little roster" and numerous suggestions that the team will be "unexciting."
There's the usual warnings about Brook Lopez's injuries and Jarrett Jack's inadequate distribution, but it's leavened by notes that long-term, things are looking better.
Here are some quotes from various writers to that point...
The team has $81 million in guaranteed salaries on the books this season, but just $45 million for the 2016-17 campaign. Brooklyn may fall out of the playoff mix this season, but a quick bounce back next year isn’t out of the question. - Lang Greene
Joe Johnson is in the final year of his deal and the Nets will have more flexibility to add new talent once that’s off the table. - Jessica Camerato
The team cut bait on Deron Williams this offseason, which was the right move, and it’s good to see them bringing in some young players. They’ll take a step back, but creating flexibility is likely a smart decision. - Alex Kennedy
The toughest analysis was from Moke Hamilton, who covers the team closest.
Although they are getting much younger, they do not seem to be getting any better. Who is the emotional leader for this team? Who will lift their spirits? Who will teach the younger players? I honestly have no clue, just like I have no clue how they can expect to be any better than fourth in their division this year.
They do say nice things about Mikhail Prokhorov and Lionel Hollins.
Of Prokhorov, they write...
Prokhorov is witty and intelligent and has no issue with being controversial. He entered the NBA beating his chest and declaring his team to be a championship contender, and although he has fallen short of his own grandiose predictions, he is still committed to winning...
And of Hollins...
Without question, Lionel Hollins, both as a player and a head coach, is someone with identity. Hollins is a proven leader who believes in playing the game of basketball a certain way ... From an Xs and Os perspective, Hollins leaves a bit to be desired, but most coaches do. Tough-nosed and seasoned, he is a plus-contributor on the bench and is one of the few bright spots for a team that has become a perennial underachiever.
So, what's the bottom line? A question...
Just what exactly are the Nets doing? Are they rebuilding? Restocking? Does general manager Billy King have another ace up his sleeve? Built around Lopez, Young and newly installed starting point guard Jarrett Jack, can the Nets compete in the seemingly tougher Eastern Conference? There are tons and tons of questions, but very little answers.
Can't disagree with much of that.
2015-16 Brooklyn Nets Season Preview - Basketball Insiders