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In NBA.com’s 30 teams in 30 days, Nets don’t look half-bad

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Shaun Powell, formerly of Newsday, has the task of analyzing the Nets off-season —and their prospects— for the NBA.com’s preseason “30 teams in 30 days.” He thinks thinks will work out nicely, but the Brooklyn’s still have a long way to go.

Powell notes that “the Nets aren’t built to go anywhere fast anytime soon,” but offers plenty of praise for Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson.

The Nets remain a work in progress but smart fans will buy into the process. The leadership seems solid and ownership is on board. Marks will try to round up talent by any means possible while coach Kenny Atkinson will use the season as a classroom; the goal is to get the young players ready to produce when the Nets are finally ready to win.

That could be a few years away. Good times are ahead, simply because it can’t get any worse.

Powell points in particular to the various salary dumps and defends the one that several pundits have seen as questionable: Taking on Allen Crabbe’s massive $56.3 million deal. Powell notes that the Nets were able to dump Andrew Nicholson, the price the Nets paid for the Wizards first rounder, in the process.

Getting him was still a super move by Marks, who essentially flipped an expiring Bojan Bogdanovic contract into Crabbe and (Jarrett) Allen, the Nets’ No. 1 pick.

He likes Allen, the 6’11” center with the wing span of a pterodactyl.

The Nets are high on the center from Texas because of his length and athletic ability, but again, he’s a project who’ll need plenty of instruction and patience, which the Nets can give him.

The big issue, of course, is how will D’Angelo Russell fit with the Nets. Powell thinks the Nets have the ideal mentor for him in Jeremy Lin after his humbling in L.A.

[M]aybe it was a good lesson and experience and will serve as a career-changing moment for Russell, at least that’s what the Nets believe. Marks has applauded Russell’s approach in the wake of the trade, and Russell is saying all the right things. That’s a start.

Russell will have a good mentor in Jeremy Lin and must develop keener point guard instincts.

Questions, questions, questions. No doubt, but overall, Powell likes what he sees, particularly when compared with scorched earth policy carried out before Marks’ arrival.

Marks simply didn’t have a choice -- how else could he rebuild a bad team that was stripped of its first-rounders by the previous regime?

Can’t dispute that.