Brooklyn Nets 2016/17 Season Preview

Updated: October 24, 2016

The Brooklyn Nets look to rebuild upon a dismal 2015-16 season. The team finished 14th in the Eastern conference with a 21-61 record. The focus for the 2016-17 season shifted as last season crawled to a close. The team started by handing out new leadership roles.  The General Management position was filled by Sean Marks. Marks was the assistant to Gregg Popovich for a stint that lasted from 2013-2016. His first move as the new GM was to bring in a head coach. His pool of talent was rather large with many big names lurking in free agency. Marks brought in former Atlanta Hawks assistant Kenny Atkinson. Marks praised Atkinson for his leadership capabilities and his step-by-step plans to help bring the team back into a relevant position.

The Net’s roster underwent a complete change of scenery as well. To say that there were key losses would be an understatement so we’ll throw out some relevant names to showcase this disposal. The team’s departures include: Jarrett Jack, Thaddeus Young, Donald Sloan, Wayne Ellington, Markel Brown and Shane Larkin. That is the short list as there were many other players that found a new home this off-season. With departures comes additions to make-up for losses.

Key players that were added include: Jeremy Lin, Luis Scola, Trevor Booker, Randy Foye, Joe Harris, Greivis Vasquez and Anthony Bennett. So the tradeoff wasn’t half as bad as it may seem and the team also added some players through the draft. Big Ten stars Yogi Ferrell and Caris LeVert joins Seton Hall and guard and Brooklyn native Isaiah Whitehead as the collegiate prospects that were added to the roster though Yogi Ferrell waived by Nets he did not make the final roster.

This leaves a rather interesting situation for what the Nets will feature on the court this season. They really lack star potential and have put their chips all in on components to contribute to the strive for more wins. Jeremy Lin probably provides the most intriguing add the team made this offseason. Lin spent much of last season as Kemba Walker’s back-up in Charlotte. When Lin was put into the starting role, he was brilliant. Walker was injured for a decent portion of last season and Lin filled Kemba’s shoes and then some. He looks to take his game to a team that could really utilize his skill set.

The team also had a big man trade off adding Booker and losing Thaddeus Young. Booker played a prominent role for the Jazz last year when Derrick Favors was absent. He provides size and stability at the forward position. He will compliment Brook Lopez inside and also adds solid defensive statistics. Leaning on players like Booker and Lin to take on larger roles is the biggest concern for the team.

Lin and Booker aren’t the only pieces who will see more court time. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Chris McCullough and Bojan Bogdanovic will need to become more consistent as their minutes will increase in large amounts this year. The key for Jefferson is to remain healthy. The Arizona product struggled mightily last year, but he was also ailing for a large majority of the season. When he was at full health he showed flashes of brilliance. Bogdanovic had a slow start last season, but once he found his game he became a lights out shooter. His sharp shooting capabilities will be a much needed factor if this team looks to provide any relevance and competition to a tough Eastern conference.

One of the most interesting pickups is Harris, who was signed by the Nets after being released by the Cleveland Cavaliers last season.  Harris had a stellar career as a big time sharp shooting guard at the University of Virginia and played sparingly on the Cavaliers before getting hurt and having surgery to remove a bone in his right foot. This a one guy to watch as he could be a steal by the new Nets regime as he reminds us of Kyle Korver type with Brooklyn stressing three-point shooting this season.

Their big man down low will face a leadership role that demands direction. Lopez is one of the NBA’s most efficient Centers and he provides many advantages to the team. His size, rebounding capabilities and his scoring averages must be three things he uses to his advantage. He will need to be one of the league’s best at that position for the team to remain solid throughout the year. The addition of forward/center Justin Hamilton should give Lopez a quality backup along with Bennett.

Can they take this roster and use their pieces to reach coherent balance?

We shall see come the start of the 2016-17 season.

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