Shaun Powell has written the NBA.com assessment of the Nets off-season. It's not good. Unlike pundits like Chad Ford, he's not assigning a letter grade or forecasting a won-loss record. He just thinks,"The Nets are embarking on a somewhat lengthy and potentially painful process of rebuilding." Ugh.
No one disputes that, and Powell's assessment, while similar to those before it, is essentially fair-minded and thorough. It's the best you can hope for. Sigh
He opens with the widely held (at least outside the players' locker room at HSS Training Center) that...
It's very possible the Nets are in worse shape than any other NBA franchise. They lack a true franchise player, they aren't carrying any young talent with huge upside, their amount of trade material is thin and they don't own their No. 1 pick outright until 2019.
The former Newsday writer also offers a discussion of why the Nets didn't have to go in the direction they did at the start of the Brooklyn era...
That strategy was unnecessary. The move from New Jersey to Brooklyn, where there are enough well-heeled residents to afford the ticket prices, had a built-in honeymoon period. The Nets could have used this time to sell the arrival of basketball, instead of winning, while stockpiling high draft picks and clearing salary cap space. Instead, they chose to rush and build a team around former All-Star Deron Williams (who was starting to fade) and boom, this is where they've crashed landed.
Does he like anything in the current mix? He likes Caris LeVert, who he describes as "a shooting guard who can get rotation minutes as a rookie and playing time is up for grabs." He thinks Jeremy Lin is a "a smart buy, an energetic overachiever who is beloved by fans and will undoubtedly bring some buzz to an arena that needs it." But he's not crazy about him. calling the former center of Linsanity, "a backup-level point guard who occasionally delivers starter-like flashes.
He also isn't sure about Sean Marks strategy of tendering massive offer sheets to players like Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe. "Either Marks was being borderline reckless with the Nets' ample cash, or bold. Maybe a bit of both." He does say of Marks and Kenny Atkinson, "The duo is young and energetic and bold, but not miracle workers."
And summing up, he half-jokes that the Nets might want to consider trying to trade Brook Lopez to Boston.
It's going to take a while for all these assessments to work themselves out in win-loss records, but don't expect much different until the ball goes up.