As the end of the season moratoriums continue to mount, there is discussing among Avery Johnson and the Nets front office about who the team should be building around going forward. Deron Williams is an obvious choice and if you like big men who can score more than 20 points per game, Brook Lopez is also not a bad choice. The other supposed players of the Nets core include Kris Humphries (provided he resigns), Anthony Morrow and Damion James.
Can’t argue with any of those guys, though I’m shocked James is on the short list after barely playing this season. I should also be on the record in saying Humphries was fantastic this past season, but the organization can’t get too crazy trying to resign him. If he signs for Outlaw money and length and regresses back into the player he was last season, the Nets are going to be really stuck again at PF.
Some players I thought would be and I’m glad to see are not on the “core” list:
Jordan Farmar: good guy, solid backup PG, but with Deron Williams as your starter, you don’t need to be paying $3 million plus for a backup.
Sasha Vujacic: This guy has been getting some mentions lately as potentially someone to bring back and I don’t get it. I think he surprised a lot of us in his first few weeks as a decent clutch shooter, but he shoots WAY too much for a player of his ability, and his “pesky” defense wasn’t as advertised this season.
Some players I’d like to see be a part of the core:
Sundiata Gaines: No, Gaines isn’t winning anyone a championship, but for the cost, I think he’s a real asset to spell Williams for 10 minutes a game at the PG. Plus he’s a likable player with a great underdog story who I want to see succeed as a complimentary piece in NJ/Brooklyn. Remember, the Nets were never able to get a solid backup for Jason Kidd and it cost them dearly when Kidd was playing on one knee against the Pistons in 2004.
Brandan Wright: Totally overvalued right now, but if he could be brought back on the cheap, I’d be intrigued. He’s a 12th man, nothing more right now, but unless he’s pulling Sean Williams’ stuff behind closed doors at practice, I can’t see the harm of stacking a talent like that on the bench and see if he can finally evolve into the player so many thought he was going to be at UNC. And despite not looking that great in a Nets uniform, he still put up decent per 40 minute numbers according to John Hollinger.