Every summer, David Aldridge ranks the off-seasons of all 30 teams, breaking teams down into top, middle and bottom 10's.
Here's how he describes his rankings...
The annual rankings of all 30 teams is, again, just taking into account everything that teams have done since they last played a game, factoring in the Draft, free agency and trades.
So, who's at the bottom of the bottom 10? Your Brooklyn Nets. It's not all bad news. Aldridge likes what "key man" Sean Marks is starting to do, but writes that the Nets didn't get what they hoped for, with the offer sheets tendered to Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe. Here's his analysis of the "key man," in this case Marks, and the "skinny."
THE KEY MAN: GM Sean Marks. He's quickly trying to establish a player development/deep culture dive that is a trademark of all former San Antonio people, just as Mike Budenholzer did in Atlanta -- which explains in part why Marks raided Atlanta for Atkinson, who was Budenholzer's assistant for the Hawks. Like the Spurs, Marks is looking at unconventional ideas, like hiring Natalie Jay, a former judicial law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, as the team's capologist.
THE SKINNY: The Nets tried to hijack a couple of restricted free agents, with the expected results, as Miami matched Brooklyn's offer sheet for guard Tyler Johnson, and Portland matched the Nets' sheet for Allen Crabbe. So it's back to the drawing board for Brooklyn, which can still go through center Brook Lopez for stretches. Problem is there aren't a whole lot of backup options.
Well, it's yet another assessment of how the Nets stack up going into this season and another one that's not encouraging. Of course, they still have to play the games. And as Aldridge notes, "If your team is ranked in the bottom 10, it doesn't mean I hate your team." Thanks, Dave.
On the other hand, Kevin Pelton of ESPN doesn't mention the Nets at all in his "Nine biggest losers of the NBA offseason." He does think that New York "probably hasn't improved enough to justify that kind of long-term spending." Translation: signing Joakim Noah to four years and $72 million probably was a mistake. Oh yeah.
Meanwhile, RealGM gives its assessment of what Marks is doing, comparing some of what the Nets are doing with what Sam Hinkie did in Philadelphia. One interesting aspect: the role of the head coach. Miles Wray of RealGM notes that Brett Brown kept things together in Philly and Kenny Atkinson will have to do the same in Brooklyn.
Brown’s tenacious optimism has kept the Sixers’ roster remarkably afloat, emotionally, while posting some of the worst records in league history -- and Atkinson is now being called upon to do the same, giant task. The most genius analytics strategy in the world only comes to fruition with this daily sweat and grind.