Nets lower price on Lopez, choosing best deal for Bogdanovic

(AP Photo/Matt Marton)


by Jaymz Clements


Resolution: Get a fresh cut, take over the world


It’s been a weird 2016 for Swaggy B aka Bojan Bogdanovic. He took Croatia to the Rio Olympic quarterfinals, and led all players in scoring with 25 points per game. Bogdanovic was so hot in Rio that many speculated that this might be year he finally made good on his NBA potential. Under Atkinson, he spent the almost all of 2016 portion of the 2016-2017 season as the Nets' starter… until he was demoted from the starting lineup against Charlotte in Brooklyn’s final home game of the year. In that game, he promptly cruised to 26 points and Brooklyn won -- coincidence?


Oh, also, there was the time in the offseason when he had to escape Turkey as a military coup was taking place. Weird, right? 


Either way, Bojan seemed to solidify his role on Atkinson’s new-look Nets and in December, Bogdanovic averaged 15.1 points per game on 43.6% shooting and, importantly, hoisted five three-pointers a game, making 38.5% of them as well. Even more importantly, his free throw rate has skyrocketed, more than doubling from 1.7 attempts to 3.6 this year. That’s crucial to Bogdanovic's game and his continuing relevance in the NBA as he averaged over 9 FTA per game in Rio. 


So, then, what does Bogdanovic need to wish for in 2017? The easy answer is to focus on capturing some of that Swaggy B Olympic scoring and free-throw-gaining chutzpah. It’d also be nice if he worked on improving as a secondary ball-handler as the Nets have run into plenty of issues without Lin at times, leaning on Bogdanovic hard during the offense-creation -- but those are the obvious answers. 


Doesn’t it feel like a new look might change Swaggy B’s prospects? If there’s one thing holding Bojan back, it’s his hair: a feathery dusting of thinning-brown thatch. It looks like the hair of a Greek shipping scion. It looks like the hair of an accountant who specializes in small business taxation. It looks like the hair of a politician with a past that will come back to haunt him. So… shave it. It’s thinning, so just, y’know, be done with it already.


If Bojan shaved his head and maybe grew his beard out, suddenly he becomes a basketball-playing version of a second-tier henchman Liam Neeson fights in Taken 4... now that's a Swaggy B no-one would ‘eff with. 


So there’s your real resolution, Bojan: shave that bonce. It means a fresh look, a fresh start, a fresh injection of badassery, and no one will ever screw with you again -- well, apart from maybe Liam Neeson.

Nets lower price on Lopez, choosing best deal for Bogdanovic Now that we’re past the DeMarcus Cousins frenzy, it’s about time for rumors on the Brooklyn Nets front to ramp up — and, according to some sources, they are. First, Bojan Bogdanovic’s market has finally begun to heat up, says Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Bogdanovic will […]

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(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

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(AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

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(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

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Scotto: Nets, Pelicans talk Lopez for Evans, Galloway, Frazier, and a pick

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)


by Justis Doucet


Resolution: Keep firing three-pointers, but use your length on the defensive boards to limit second-chance points


The NBA has turned into a shooter's league and that’s no exception for traditional NBA big men. This year, Brook Lopez has extended his range outside the arc, connecting on 37% of his three-pointers this season -- but it's a completely new unearthed skill for the center. Looking back on his career numbers, this adaptation to his game has come out of the blue entirely. Prior to this season, Lopez had shot 31 deep bombs as a career-total; but through 28 games this season alone, he’s hit 57 of 153. 


So, yeah, that's a game-changer for the once-nearly-extinct big man.


To this point, Lopez has often been the difference between a five point loss and a twenty point loss this season for the Nets, which is kind of what we expected. Lopez’s shooting has drastically improved his game too, as he’s able to drag opposing centers out of the paint, which opens it up for either Trevor Booker's insane offensive rebounds or for guards driving to the basket as the opposing shot rim protector must guard Lopez in the corner.


Although Atkinson and Lopez have made the decision for the big man not to really play in back-to-backs, this has obviously hurt the Nets in the win column, but with an eye of long-term health, it's tough to get too upset about that.


Lopez is nearing career-highs in most categories, and his scoring average of 20.5 a game is two-tenths off his career-best. In addition, he has quadrupled his assist numbers over the last two years (0.7 per game to just a hair under 3), a remarkable improvement for a veteran at the center position. With Lopez now scoring from outside, his inside numbers have improved as defenders must cover more space on the floor, seeing as, on top of the 37% three-point percentage, he’s shooting 53% from two-point range -- the third highest mark of his nine-year career.


One thing that Lopez could hope to improve on for the 2017 calendar year is rebounding. You've likely read two trillion (guesstimate) articles about Lopez's poor rebounding numbers and while he's always surrounded by strong players in that category (Reggie Evans, Kris Humphries, Trevor Booker, etc), he could stand to help out a bit more there. Of course, as he finds himself out by the three-point line more and more, those numbers aren't likely to rise -- but, hey, Lopez can't do it all by himself, so he mostly gets a pass there.

The Brooklyn Nets have been discussing a trade that would send Brook Lopez to the New Orleans Pelicans for Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, Tim Frazier, and a protected 2018, a source has told Michael Scotto of Basketball Insiders. As always, the hold-up appears to be the Nets’ resistance to dealing the franchise’s near-leader in every […]

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(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

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(AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

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Sources: Nets shopping Lopez, Bogdanovic, no deal imminent

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

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(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

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Jeremy Lin returns as Nets battle James Harden and the Houston Rockets

Lin

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Nets look for semblance of hope against the lowly Denver Nuggets

Will Barton


A former five-star high school recruit thought to have loads of untapped potential, Barton was mostly ineffective in limited minutes for Portland, but flourished in Denver following a midseason trade to the Nuggets. Barton excels at running in transition, and at 6’6", he has the size to defend three positions. But he’s not much of a shooter, hitting just 28% of his three-pointers in Denver, and he’s not quite good enough on defense to compensate. 


Barton is reportedly a favorite of Nuggets GM Tim Connelly, but the Nets may be able to lure him away if the Nuggets want to keep a clean cap sheet.

Nets look for semblance of hope against the lowly Denver Nuggets The Brooklyn Nets fell to 5-15 on the season after faltering late against the Washington Wizards on Monday, despite a good effort from Brook Lopez, Trevor Booker, and Bojan Bogdanovic. Of course, the defeat meant their third-straight loss in a row and that they’re are […]