ESPN is at it again, ranking this and that. In the past 24 hours, it’s ranked each of the pro sports franchises and NBA teams by tier.
Alas, the Nets did poorly in both.
In the Ultimate Standings ranking of 122 franchises, the Nets finished 110th. But their roster finished at `117th and 114th in “title track” The Nets ownership finished 107th. ESPN claims its rankings are objective, using a variety of metrics, including fan polling.
Here’s their summary...
Just how bad are things in Brooklyn? The Nets are preaching progress this season -- not wins. Hey, at least new GM Sean Marks and first-year coach Kenny Atkinson are being realistic about the uphill battle the franchise faces on the heels of a 21-61 finish in 2015-16.
What’s positive in the Ultimate Standings? Three NBA teams rank lower, the Knicks (yay!), Kings and Suns.
Zach Lowe’s annual NBA tier ranking put the Nets in the “attractive drek” category along with the 76ers, Lakers, and the Suns.
Here’s Lowe on the Nets, talking about everyone’s favorite trade bait, Brook Lopez...
Determining Lopez's place in that vision will be a season-long challenge. In theory, they should trade him now; he's coming off a monster healthy season, and he has two years left on his contract -- happy things that might entice teams spooked by his past foot injuries. He's 28, so he won't be around when the Nets are relevant. Sean Marks, Brooklyn's new GM, has already shown in swapping Thad Young for the No. 20 pick that he will sell a little low on veterans to replenish Brooklyn's raided draft pick cupboard.
On the flip side, remove Lopez's $22 million salary for next season, and the Nets could enter free agency $50 million below the salary floor. Without much to sell beyond the city, will the Nets be able to spend on anyone better than Lopez?
We assume ESPN isn’t done. There are Marc Stein’s Power Rankings to come. At least.