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Ben Golliver: Not buying the hope or hype

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Brooklyn Nets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated’s Ben Golliver isn’t buying much of this hope and hype being peddled by other reporters at ESPN, The Vertical, WFAN, New York Post, etc., etc. He likes what Sean Marks et al are doing, but in listing the seven most “hopeless” franchises, he puts Brooklyn at the bottom.

The Nets, he writes, are “Utterly, Savagely Hopeless.” That puts them below the Knicks, who are merely “hopeless” and the Kings who are “Utterly, Disorientingly Hopeless.”

How very Dante Alighieri of him.

Golliver’s argument is hardly unique. Expect more stories about the Nets lack of first round picks as the Draft Lottery gets closer.

There’s no way to rationalize the double pain of incurring heavy losses for the next two years with no payoff in young talent and the jealousy that will come with watching those highly-touted prospects develop into contributors somewhere else.

He also isn’t that enamored of finding fallen angels, who he, rightly or wrongly, describes as “castoffs.”

[T]he Nets are taking flier after flier on young cast-offs, handing over major minutes to recent draft picks like Caris LeVert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, and trying to claw draft picks back in minor trades. Those are all sound approaches, but the result remains the league’s worst record (by a mile).

The ways out are not that appealing, he notes. Trading Brook Lopez “could very well create more problems than it solves” and he believes the immediate future will be dismal.

Given their weak talent base, there’s a very strong chance the Nets will be back in the same spot next year, even if Marks is able to use his plentiful cap space this summer to add talent via prudent signings of rotation players and/or tough-to-match offers to restricted free agents. There are just too many minutes to fill.

The Nets, he concludes, are selling neither wins nor hope, a bad situation.