John Schuhmann isn’t waiting until Opening Night or even preseason. He’s got a head start on Power Rankings ... and he puts the Nets at 25th, between the Knicks and the Suns.
For Schuhmann, it’s all about D’Angelo Russell...
Key addition(s): D'Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe and DeMarre Carroll
Key departure(s): Brook Lopez
Key question: Can Russell take a significant step forward?
The Nets haven't signed a single free agent (other than training camp fodder), but have used their cap space to trade for four guys who may start (Russell, Crabbe, Carroll and Timofey Mozgov), losing one (Lopez). The small upgrades on the perimeter, as well as better health for Jeremy Lin, could more than make up for the loss of Lopez. Russell's lack of development last season, especially with him being freed from the Kobe Farewell Tour, was disappointing and the Lakers were downright awful when he shared the floor with Jordan Clarkson. The Nets' pace and floor spacing should help him, but Russell will need to get to the basket more. Among players who played in at least 40 games last season, he ranked 114th with just 4.7 drives per 36 minutes.
Around the time of the Lakers trade, Schuhmann (the founder of NetsDaily ... all bow) that Russell would also need to adjust his attitude.
Who’s he got at the top? Warriors, duh. At the bottom, where the Nets sat most of last year? Hawks..
Also worth a read this Wednesday morning is Dan Favale’s list of what each team regrets now that free agency has wound down. Read the Nets of course but also the Lakers