Though much of the fan reaction was negative, there were some thoughtful messages from some fans suggesting that losing Paul Pierce might turn out just fine:
No one likes change but long ball is gone. It left the day we traded Kidd. That meant that Pierce and Livingston no longer had a place on this team. Everything Pierce brought as a PF can be replicated by Mirza. The are both stretch 4s who shoot 3 pointers well while struggling on defense and rebounding. The differnce being that Mirza brings more size and improving skills while Pierce is a declining player with inadequate size. Pierce is even easier to replace at SF. The Nets best player, Joe Johnson, is going to start at SF. Bogdanovic also plays a similar game too Pierce but with more upside.
Lucky for the Nets that they have a stable of good 7-footers. Lopez, Garnett and Plumlee are all very good players who bring three completely different playing styles. Lopez is the last of a dying breed, a true low post Center. KG is still very good on defense and capable of spacing the floor offensively. Plumlee is a pick and roll big who is at his best when he gets momentum moving towards the rim. I think we will see both KG and Plumlee playing a lot of PF this year to match up with the new, big lineups in the East. Kirilenko and Mirza will also be options at PF when the Nets want to play small.
All in all I think the Nets are having a very good off season.
Hollins is an upgrade over Kidd.
Jack is an upgrade over Livingston espcially with Kidd gone.
A healthy Lopez will more then make up for the loss of Blatche
DWill finally got ankle surgery. It shouldnt be hard for him to improve on last year.
Kirilenko played hurt for pretty much the entire season. I expect him to also bounce back.
Markel Brown looks like he will add athleticism and defense to our rotation
Bogdanovic is 25 years old and should be able to hit the ground running.
Mirza and Plumlee should both be a year better and more improved
And most importantly, Joe Johnson finally stepped up into the primary role in the playoffs. He has finally found his nitch on this team.
Everybody keeps talking about what the nets are losing with Kidd, Pierce, livingston, blatche and so on BUT look what were adding. A real defensive minded coach in hollins who is a proven no nonsense winner, Jack, karasev, a healthy brook lopez, a healthy Dwill(god willing), Markel brown who looks like a steal in the second round( traded 3 of our 1st round picks but we got a gm who seems to know how to work the draft), bojan bogdonavich ( who ppl keep saying is a top 5 pick in the past draft if he were in it). Every expert last year said the KG and pierce were not gonna be enough for nothing most so called experts had the nets not in the playoffs or not making it past the first round. Ill reserve judgement, The nets are a good team and capable of doing better then last year!
#Nets fans need to chill. He's 37, and no longer a core player. I would've liked him back but next season's success was not dependent on him
— Sean Flattery (@SeanFlatts) July 13, 2014
The nets were definitely more exciting to watch last year despite the slow start. However, I'm glad they are not going down the path of the Knicks who tend to wait far too long to shed unproductive, bad contracts. Not saying Paul Pierce didn't have his moments last season, but he was never getting us to the promise land. During the playoffs, the King told the Truth: Thou shall not pass.