Any analysis focused on the Nets’ immediate future isn’t going to look good. They have a diminished core of a 38-win team as their roster. They had no cap space to use this offseason beyond re-signing that core. They have no control over a single draft pick — either round — until 2019. The star of their offseason is Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, an energetic and ebullient 20-year-old who has a broken shooting stroke and will likely play as a backup for the foreseeable future. They are still run largely by the same management that put them in this position.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone reading this website to find that ESPN ranked the Nets 30th — dead last — out of all 30 NBA teams in their annual “Future Power Rankings,” which assesses how strong a team’s fortunes are projected to look over the next three years. The rankings rely on a five-part formula: players, management, money, market, and draft, and the composite gave the Nets an “overall score” of 26.7 out of 100.
The Nets ended up on the bottom for the second straight year, despite improving drastically in the “money” category after getting out of the luxury tax, and improving slightly in the “draft” category, due to the linear passage of time. But their roster ranks last among all 30 teams, and their “management” score of 17.5 ranks 28th, tying them with the other local management.
Chad Ford did not mince words about how the Nets got into this quagmire:
The Nets are a classic example of how inexperienced ownership combined with poor management dooms a franchise. Owner Mikhail Prokhorov wanted a championship within five years. Now, five years later, his eagerness has landed the Nets in NBA hell for the foreseeable future.
The Nets shot for the moon with a faulty engine, and the gravity of reality yanked them back in for a crash landing. As I said at the end of the season, this past year — and their current situation — is the result of those failures.
At least, as Billy King noted, the guys seem to like each other.
ESPN — Future Power Rankings