We missed this last week ... and lucky us that we did! It's the semi-annual ESPN Insider look at future power rankings, a projection of where all 30 teams will be over the next three years. And, no surprise, the Nets are 30th (that's last) as they have for three straight editions of the Future Power Rankings.
Chad Ford and Kevin Pelton, who accurately predicted last season's debacle hold out some hope, but not much for Brooklyn. They rank the team 30th in players and 30th in draft picks. Can't rank something you don't have. They also rank the Nets 26th, up from 30th. (Who's last this time? The Kings!)
But Ford and Pelton do like the changes ownership has made and give fans just the teeniest bit of hope.
For the third straight edition, Brooklyn sits in last place in the rankings, finishing 30th in the roster and draft categories. Ending up dead last in both of those categories is a recipe for disaster.
However, there are a few glimmers of light at the end of this tunnel.
First, the Nets fired the general manager that got them into this mess, Billy King, and replaced him with Sean Marks. While Marks is inexperienced, he comes from the Spurs' stable and is highly regarded around the league. If he can bring discipline, culture and a more process-oriented approach, Brooklyn should be better off in the long run.
Second, the Nets, for the first time in a while, aren't in salary cap purgatory. We actually ranked them fifth among all 30 teams in this category. If they spend their money well, their roster score could jump dramatically.
We kinda disagree with ESPN ranking the Brooklyn market sixth among 30 teams. Despite the low attendance and low TV ratings, we believe there is a wellspring of fan enthusiasm out there ... if they'd just start looking respectable. We are also somewhat mystified by the high ranking for the Nets cap space. They currently rank seventh among teams in cap space and the top five have better than $50 million. We do agree that Marks, Atkinson et al are for the most part inexperienced, but then again the old regime was very experienced and look where that got us!