The Nets lost a couple of big pieces this offseason: Paul Pierce bolted for D.C., Shaun Livingston the Bay Area, and
Jason Kidd assistant coach Joe Prunty also moved on. But did they offset those departures enough to stay competitive in the offseason?
Yes and no, if you ask NBA.com’s David Aldridge. In his Monday Morning Tip, Aldridge took a crack at ranking all 30 teams by the quality of their offseason moves (not overall team quality), and put the Nets smack-dab in the middle at no. 15.
A quick recap: the Nets lost Pierce, Livingston, Andray Blatche, their head coach, Marcus Thornton, and Jason Collins, replacing them with Jarrett Jack, Sergey Karasev, Bojan Bogdanovic, coach Lionel Hollins, and rookies Markel Brown & Cory Jefferson. They also have the rights to Xavier Thames, who they drafted 59th, and will have to tender him an offer before September 6th to retain his rights going forward.
Here’s what Aldridge had to say about the Nets offseason, after naming Hollins as the “key man”:
It was a struggle to rate Brooklyn this high, given the departures of Pierce and Livingston, who each impacted the team in so many positive ways. But the Nets did a good job replacing them and strengthening the roster at the same time. Jack was great two years ago in Golden State and the bet is he’ll do much better backing up Deron Williams than he did Kyrie Irving in Cleveland, where the two clashed; Brooklyn’s commitment to the halfcourt game is more up Jack’s alley. The Nets got Bogdanovic over from Turkey’s Fenerbahce three years after drafting him in 2011, and he should help replace Pierce’s production behind the arc, at least. The Nets thought about drafting Karasev in 2012 before the Cavs did. His young legs will help during the grind of the regular season. Anderson solidified things while the Nets were strafed by injuries last season, and he’s earned a spot in the rotation. Don’t know what the Nets will be by season’s end, but they may be OK.
Hard to argue with any of Aldridge’s takes on the situation. Replacing Livingston with Jack means the Nets have to switch their style up a little bit, but it’s a change welcomed by Hollins’s demeanor and coaching philosophy.
The one thing he’s forgotten is the one that many have left out: barring yet another setback, Brook Lopez is back. Yes, they struggled with Lopez to start the season, and yes, the Nets turned it around once Lopez went down. But with this roster, the Nets will have to find a way to build around a healthy Lopez akin to their 49-win season two years ago. Can they?