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NetsDaily End of the Season Roundtable

The writers of NetsDaily look at the year that was in Brooklyn, and the future of the team.

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1. What were your high's and low's for the season?

Net Income: The low's are easy.  The 60 plus losses!  Aside from that, the low had to be Rondae Hollis Jefferson's injury leading tothe loss of 50 plus games of development.  He was out a longer that predicted. Any explanation? Nope. Just that they wanted to make sure he was ready.

High point? Other than the firing and reassignment of head coach and GM on a cold January morning?  I'm going off court. Yes Lopez and Young had great years and the rookies showed some stuff but ....  So I'm going with the February trifecta: opening of HSS Training Center, hiring of Sean Marks and buying a DLeague franchise!

Tom Lorenzo: The highs included the Warriors game (almost winning!), the Cavaliers

win and the development of some of the young guys - Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough and Sean Kilpatrick looked good at times this season. Even Markel Brown had some nice moments, and Bojan Bogdanovic "led" the team down the stretch. Nothing earth shattering there, but definitely some growth and plenty of potential there.

The lows were-a-plenty. Not sure I can list them all, but let's just say the season as a whole was a low. And it's going to get lower when they have to hand a top 3 pick over to the Celtics this summer.

Reed Wallach: High: It's hard not to look at Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young and be proud of the work they did this season. The year was always gloomy, but the two centerpieces of this Nets roster played hard and played at career highs. Young played his best basketball since his Philly days, and Lopez thrived as the number one option on a team that couldn't create offense outside of him. Also, worth noting, the hiring of Sean Marks. It seems that Marks is going to be a successful GM and get the Nets out of the gutter. When? Not sure, but Marks' first few months in office has seen him stumble upon a gem (Sean Kilpatrick), and trim the fat of the team (Andrea Bargnani and Joe Johnson). Great start.

Low: The number one pick in the 2016 NBA Draft will be made by the Boston Celtics.

Anthony Puccio: High's: Sean Marks is in charge now, which means the Nets are headed in a new direction. The stellar play of Brook Lopez/Thaddeus Young. The potential in younger guys like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Sean Kilpatrick and Chris McCullough.

Low's: A putrid 21-61 record; surrendering a top-3 pick to Boston; swapping 2nd-round picks with the Clippers falling from 33rd to 55th; Jarrett Jack's ACL injury. The list could go on forever...

Anthony Parisi: After making the playoffs three straight seasons, the Nets finished with a disappointing 21 wins this year. There was a lot of negatives such as Jarrett Jack tearing his ACL and setting Boston up with a lottery pick, but there were some positives as well. Finding Sean Kilpatrick in the D-league was a big time acquisition by Sean Marks and the team being so bad allowed for the younger players such as Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough to get some meaningful playing time.

It's all about the youth of the Nets at this point and although this season was tough to fathom, at least the younger players gained some experience.

2. What does the future hold for the Sean Marks' Nets?

NI: Marks is likely to take small steps this year. I don't expect any dramatic improvement this summer or next season. Marks keeps talking about change of culture. That takes time. Hoping they get lucky but a big improvement is years away, unfortunately.

TL: Lots of development and, I hope, most importantly lots of patience. They need to be patient and they need to respect and allow the process. No more rushing things for the sake of marketing the team -- let it play out and let Marks do his job.

RW: This guy seems to get it. He has brought in fresh energy into the roster, and what seems to be the front office. I can't put a timetable on when the Nets will be back in contention, but I'm happy Marks is leading this reclamation project. This is the start of a new era and I'm not sure who the Nets will be able to pull in this offseason with essentially no draft picks and the entire league flushed with cap space, but it's turning around. I'd like to see Marks sign a few complimentary players that will fit a system and bring a coach who commands respect in the locker room and is great at player development.

AP: Well, he's got his work cut out for him. It feels like the Nets have to start over without draft picks to show for the losing ways. He needs to find a coach that fits, spend wisely this offseason on realistic assets and hire the best staff to scout talent in the D-League and overseas. Not to mention, hire the best staff to develop young guys like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough.

Parisi: The Nets future is full of uncertainty and Sean Marks will have his work cut out for him. Marks has stated that he wants to develop a culture in Brooklyn which is a process that will take time to develop. This offseason could be a long and grueling one, but Marks isn't going to force anything like Brooklyn did in years past. The future will most likely hold a couple of rebuilding seasons with hopes of being competitive again in a few years.

3. Are Brook Lopez and Thad Young part of the future of the Nets?

NI: I think Brook says and Thad gets traded on Draft Night. No inside dope just my opinion. Every good game Chris McCullogh plays enhances that opinion

TL: Yeah, absolutely. In the new TV-deal NBA they are signed at reasonable rates and don't have to be the number one or number two guys on this team. I think they can definitely be part of the future and part of the stability that they need going forward.

RW: Lopez hinted at it towards the end of the season, but I think so. Young is more moveable, in my opinion, due to his athleticism and friendly contract, and while he could be moved on Draft Night if Marks is feeling bold, I don't see it likely. The two play off of each other very well and I think that Marks can craft a formidable roster with both Lopez and Young holding down the frontcourt.

AP: Yes, unless Marks sees an offer he can't refuse. I don't see Lopez going anywhere, but selling high on Young might not be the worst thing. It's hard to have a frontcourt in today's small-ball game where neither the PF/C can hit the deep ball. 

Parisi: When Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young signed extensions to keep them in Brooklyn this past offseason the plan was for them to be the core and to build the team around them. Times have changed since then and although Lopez appears to be safe, don't be surprised if Young gets traded this offseason. Brian Lewis wrote that Lopez said that Sean Marks has assured him that he'll be a "building block." Incase you're wondering, Young hasn't said anything about Marks calling him a building block.

4. What should the Nets look to do on Draft Night? Early predictions?

NI: Other than a possible Draft Night trade of Young? They will have one second rounder at 55. They also will likely buy several second rounders with their $3.5 million. The Nets could sign those picks to D-League contracts and retain their rights.

TL: Drink. Heavily.

RW: This draft isn't filled with much talent, so I don't think the Nets should force a trade to get into the first round, but in the second round they should try to make minor moves in order to gain more prospects. Currently, the Nets only have the 55 pick in this draft, so they will be taking shots at this point, but Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell would be fun to watch, although he might not have much upside in the league due to his lack of size. However, the kid can flat out play, and the Nets need point guard help and playmakers off the dribble going forward.

AP: Buy a couple of second round picks and see if they can somehow acquire a late 1st-rounder. Consider guys like Brooklyn native Isaiah Whitehead if they have the chance to. I'm sure names will be dangled come draft day.

Parisi: The Nets don't have a first round pick and had their second round pick swapped with the Clippers so Brooklyn will be picking with the 55th overall pick in the upcoming draft. Brooklyn doesn't plan on trading up in the draft unless they really like a player and in a weak overall draft I don't see that happening. One thing that I expect Brooklyn to do is buy second round picks, that's a tactic that they have used a lot in the past.

5. Who will be the next coach of the Nets?

NI: I KNOW nothing but I think it's Messina. Other possibilities IMO are Kenny Atkinson and Sean

Sweeney, assistants with Hawks and Bucks. Sweeney was an assistant to Kidd in Brooklyn, went with him to Milwaukee.

Dark horse: Vinny Del Negro who suddenly after Hollins was dumped started following NetsDaily on Twitter. Counts for something! Remember he comes from Pop coaching tree.

What about Thibodeau? Not the right fit, I've heard, meaning he'd want too much power, would hinder front office development

TL: In my heart I'm saying Becky Hammon, but my head is leaning toward someone who we haven't really talked about yet. Who is that? Not sure. But I do think that Sean Marks has some additional folks in mind that aren't on the media list of top candidates.

RW: My pick all along has been Ettore Messina, current assistant coach in San Antonio, and he will continue to be until someone else is introduced. The pick is obvious due to his success in Europe and his time spent under Greg Popovich in the Spurs..and that he worked along side the Nets shiny new GM for several years. Messina would be a great hire for the Nets and they will officially become the Spurs of the East. But another name to look at, that has been mentioned with every head coaching vacancy it seems now, is Kenny Atkinson. Atkinson is the assistant coach of the Hawks and has a great reputation at player development. Keep an eye on him as Brooklyn's head coaching search intensifies. No, Mike D'Antoni, Jeff Van Gundy, nor Tom Thibodeau should be hired.

AP: Like most, my prediction is Ettore Messina. David Blatt is someone to keep an eye on too.

Parisi: The most important task for the Nets this offseason is finding a coach. The search for a new coach is now underway and some notable candidates are Spurs assistants Ettore Messina and Ime Udoka, former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy and Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson. More candidates then I listed will be interviewed, the Nets front office will certainly take their time with the decision, but in the end I see Ettore Messina getting the job. Messina coached CSKA Moscow while Mikhail Prokhorov owned the team and he also worked under Sean Marks when Marks was the assistant GM in San Antonio.