Hot take of the day: The Nets will not be the worst team in the NBA this year.
Now will they still be bad? Yes. But they have pieces that suggest they are ready to turn around their basketball misfortunes.
Brooklyn has put all their chips in the D’Angelo Russell bag. On the Lakers, Russell had many head scratching moments (mostly off court). From secretly filming teammates to sometimes attempting high risk, low reward passes, Russell was a mixed bag to say the least. But there were more positives than negatives. Russell never backdown from the big moments in games, coining the phrase “Ice in his veins” after hitting a couple of clutch late game shots. Standing at 6’5, Russell is long enough to be a solid defender while still being a huge factor on offense. If Brooklyn wants to have any success this year, D’Angelo will need to mature into the player we had flashes of last season.
Along with Russell, the Nets have a decent blend of young and seasoned talent. Young players like Caris LeVert and rookie Jarrett Allen will be able to learn from solid vets like DeMarre Carroll, Jermey Lin, and Quincy Acy. No, these aren’t the greatest vets in the world, but they are a step up from the vets, or lack there of, Brooklyn had last season.
The Nets will need players like Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Allen Crabbe (who is their highest paid player by the way) to step up and improve from somewhat subpar season last year.
Brooklyn won only 20 games last year. No, they will not be the best team in the league and they will not even been a good team this year. However, the moves made this offseason (and moves other teams have made), leads me to believe they won’t be the worst.
Regular Season Prediction: 24-58