After a 24-58 season, the New Jersey Nets will have to make some changes heading into 2012. This week, Nets are Scorching takes a closer look at some soon-to-be-available names.
Stats: 82 GP, 59 GS, 7.6 PPG, 30.8 MPG, 4.5 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.0 BPG, 1.6 SPG, .456 FG%, .391 3p%, .645 FT%, 12.37 PER
Why Billy King Should Be Texting Him Right Now: Shane Battier is a great example of a player who is going to bring lots of positives to your team, without a lot of negatives. At this point in his career he is what he is – an elite wing defender who can space the floor for you on offense with his ability to hit the three point shot – that’s what Battier is and has been for a longtime. There is much more that Battier brings to the table, however, and that can be summed up with one word, intangibles. Battier brings all the things that winning basketball teams need – leadership, toughness, basketball IQ and high character. Battier ranks 24th in the league in two year adjusted +/-. (Plus-Minus results adjusted to account for both the teammates and the opponents on the floor with a player over the course of the season. This value is based on two years of data including the playoffs. Playoffs are weighted at 2x the weight of the regular seasons with each regular season rated equally. via basketballvalue.com) His 2.44 +/- puts him ahead of players such as Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and Carmelo Anthony to name a few. There is simply no denying the type of impact a player such as Battier can have a locker room, especially one with young players on the roster, such as the Nets.
Don’t Risk the Fine: Quite honestly in terms of his on the court and off the court contributions, there aren’t a lot of great reasons to not pursue Shane Battier. Simply put, adding him to your roster will make your team better. What I will say is this, though. Shane Battier seems to be the type of player that is added to a team already poised to make a deep playoff run. The final piece if you will. Adding Battier to the Nets roster today, maybe, puts them in contention for the 8th seed in the playoffs. I would argue, that the money it’s going to take to sign Battier could go to a younger player, one who has more room to grow and develop into a potential all-star, (such as a Thaddeus Young), or dividing that money up and spending less on a player or two who may be able to provide the same type of contributions that Battier would (such as Luc Mbah a Moute).
And the Winner is…Avoid: At the end of the day, as I said earlier, Battier is only going to improve your roster. But I believe the market will be pretty high for Battier. It’s not just the Nets who are looking to add elite defenders. Therefore the money it may take to sign him, could be better spent being dispersed among a few free agents, or ones to potentially develop into major contributors down the line.