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How many wins? Maybe 30, says ESPN

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Pelton of ESPN is out with what he calls “an early look at 2017-18 NBA projections” and thinks the Nets will win more, but not much more, games than last year, predicting 29.5 wins.

While the Nets have improved their roster, the loss of Brook Lopez will weigh heavily on them, Pelton projects. He also calls the Nets big man rotation “perhaps” the worst in the NBA.

Here’s his explanation...

The additions of guard D'Angelo Russell and forward DeMarre Carroll (rated better than league average, despite the Nets' getting a first-round pick to take on his contract) figure to make Brooklyn more competitive next season. Still, the Nets have perhaps the NBA's worst big men, which will keep them in the lottery.

Like Jeremy Lin says, “Everyone thinks we will suck.”

Pelton projects the Nets will finish 13th in the East, ahead of the Bulls and Hawks, but behind the Knicks (whose roster and potential remains uncertain as long as Carmelo Anthony rumors persist.)

The ESPN prognosticator has the Celtics topping the East once again in regular season ... and has the Raptors outside the lottery and the Pacers inside it, meaning, if he’s right, the Nets will get Toronto’s first round pick and Indiana’s second.