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Development 1-through-15 still a priority for Nets

NBA: Brooklyn Nets-Press Conference Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

There will be mock drafts, speculation about free agents, but on the practice court and in the training room at HSS Training Center, there will less public, less exciting but hopefully as productive work. Development.

“We’re obsessed with that as a staff, 1-through-15 how can we get those guys better,’’ coach Kenny Atkinson said at the team’s exit meetings this week.

“I’m sure I have a wish list that’s Utopian, but where we are we have to keep taking a lot of pride in developing the players we have. … To me, that’s your wish list: Get these guys better that are on your roster.”

As Brian Lewis writes Sunday, there are a LOT of areas that need improvement, no matter who fills the roster spots, whether it’s rim protection, passing, three-point shooting. Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez agree.

“We need to be better defending the rim, we need to be better shooters, need to be better passers. A lot of that being a better passer falls on me in terms of making better reads in our system,’’ said Lin.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean we need to go out and get all these things. Will we try and improve the roster? Yeah I’m sure. … But we understand we could create that ourselves. Rim protection or deflections or activity or better shooting, if you work at it, you can get a lot better at these things.”

Said Lopez, “We believe we can be so much better than that. It’s going to take all of us coming together even more, getting out of our comfort zone, and putting in a lot of work this offseason.’’

Some players know exactly where they want to improve: For Caris LeVert, it’s three point shooting; for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, it’s strength so he can be a better PF ... or whatever they call his position.

That doesn’t mean any less focus on the draft or free agency, whether in the NBA or overseas. As Kenny Atkinson said, “There’s a lot of different ways of improving, all of us, trying to find ways to get better. I have a list on my phone ‘I’ve got to [call] this guy, got to go see this team, travel to Europe.’”


We should know more about all this —development, free agency and the draft— Monday when Atkinson and Sean Marks meet with the media at HSS Training Center.