It’s the time of the season when ESPN writers take a long look into his crystal ball — three years to be exact — and gauges which teams are likely to succeed over that period and which are, in their opinion, doomed.
The Nets have been at the bottom, back when Billy King was replaced by Sean Marks, and near the top after the Clean Sweep. According to this year’s tally, Brooklyn is falling, dropping from eighth last year to 19th now. The ESPN logic has a lot to do with the Nets off-season. Per Tim Bontemps:
Brooklyn was one of the biggest fallers in this set of rankings, tumbling from eighth to 19. Anyone who paid even the slightest attention this summer will know why, given the tumultuous offseason the Nets had. Brooklyn fell primarily for two reasons: the team’s player rank dropping from sixth to 17th and the management rank dropping from 12th to 23rd. A strong season — which is certainly possible, given the presence of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons on the roster — could quickly send things in the other direction. But so many questions about the present, let alone the future, have led to a precipitous fall down these rankings.
ESPN ranks the teams based on a calculation that takes into account several factors...
Of course, one could argue that the Nets management number should be higher. After all, they survived an existential crisis and probably should get credit for that. It also seems a bit pessimistic to think that the Nets have the 16th best roster. Even noting their early difficulties, there is still a lot of talent in Brooklyn.
For the record, the Grizzlies with their mix of veterans and young players are No. 1. No argument here after Monday night. They’re followed by the Clippers, Celtics and Warriors. At the bottom are the Jazz, despite their 3-1 record, just below the Hornets, Pacers and Kings.