Tag: Brook Lopez

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Joe Johnson on Nets future: ‘I don’t see us coming back as the same team’


The Nets were eliminated from the postseason by the top-seeded Hawks on Friday, and though it took longer than expected thanks to Brooklyn finding away to stay competitive for most of the series, the reality is that the Nets need to undergo a serious set of changes to the roster in order to be more competitive next season.

Joe Johnson, the team’s highest-paid player, knows this perhaps better than anyone else.

From Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

“I have no idea. Something’s going to happen. I don’t know what. I don’t see us coming back as the same team. This is my third year here. I could see if we were getting better each year, but it’s kind of been the opposite. So to not even be a .500 ball club in the East. It’s disheartening and I don’t know. I think everyone in that locker room is unsure of the future here. So we’ll see what happens going into the summer.”

In a word: Yep.

Changes most certainly are coming, but exactly what they’ll be remains unclear.

Brook Lopez has a player option for next season, but even if he chooses to become an unrestricted free agent, the Nets seem to be extremely likely to re-sign him. Thaddeus Young is likely to be back, because his player option of $10.2 million is worth taking, especially when considering it will set him up to become an unrestricted free agent just as the salary cap is set to spike in advance of the 2016-17 season. Alan Anderson, who provided a much-needed offensive spark off the bench at times during the postseason, said he’ll be opting out of the final year of his deal to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he may or may not be back depending on what the market decides.

Where it gets much murkier is with Johnson and Deron Williams — both of whom are vastly overpaid, and neither of whom are capable of being franchise players any longer. The Nets would love to move one or both of them to get some players who are on more reasonable contracts, or ones that could more readily contribute to a more consistent level of success.

Johnson is the more likely to be moved, because he only has one year remaining on his contract for $24.8 million, while Williams has two at $21 and $22 million respectively. But it won’t be easy to find any takers.

All we know right now is that changes to the Nets’ roster are, at this point, an inevitability. And Johnson knows it, as well.

PBT Extra: Nets focus on Korver, using Brook Lopez made this a series with Hawks

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets- Game Four

If the Atlanta Hawks that were undefeated in January were playing in late April, this would be a very different post. But those Hawks seem to have gone the way of the Dodo.

The Brooklyn Nets won two games at home and made it a series with the Hawks by taking a couple steps, something I discuss in this latest PBT Extra. First, coach Lionel Hollins has drawn up a game plan that focuses defensively on slowing Kyle Korver — something Hollins said he didn’t have to do, but actions speak louder than words.

Second, the Nets have worked to exploit Brook Lopez’s size advantage inside against the banged-up front line of the Hawks.

We know what the Nets will do in Game 5, but can the Hawks counter? Or just find some of that January magic again?

Anonymous GM: If Brook Lopez wants to stay with Nets, ‘he should be able to get whatever he wants’

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets

Deron Williams was unquestionably the star of the Nets’ Game 4 win over the Hawks on Monday, but Brook Lopez was just as important to his team’s winning effort.

Lopez finished with 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting, while grabbing 10 rebounds and protecting the rim with four blocked shots.

The performance was far from an aberration; Lopez has been on a tear to end the regular season, and his dominant inside presence has continued to be a factor against the East’s top-seeded team in the playoffs.

Lopez will have a choice to make this summer. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that the Nets have to hope it’s one that allows him to remain in Brooklyn — and not only for next season.

From Fred Kerber of the New York Post:

One opposing general manager, who said the prevailing thinking around the league is Lopez stays put and gets a max deal, may have summed it up best.

“If he walks, where are they going? They don’t have draft picks. They’re flip-flopping their pick [with Atlanta]. They’re getting the 29th instead of the 15th. For their future, I don’t see how they can lose him,” the GM said. “If Brook wants to stay there, he should be able to get whatever he wants.” …

Lopez has options. He can opt out and stay with the Nets on a five-year deal — other teams can offer four — and that would ease any self-worry about foot issues resurfacing. Or with all the TV money set to flood the market after next season, Lopez could sign a two-year deal with a player option for the second year. It makes no sense not to opt out.

Lopez has a player option for $16.7 million for next season, but can certainly make more in guaranteed money by signing a longer-term deal, either in Brooklyn or somewhere else.

The point, here, is that Lopez seemingly has all the leverage. The Nets need to keep their All-Star caliber talent in place if they hope to compete, because there is no help coming in the form of young talent through the draft for the next several seasons. Brooklyn might like to convince Lopez to take the two-year route, just to maintain some semblance of future cap flexibility. But what’s more important is securing his services for what appears likely to be the prime of his career.

Nets with beautiful basketball sequence to end first quarter of Game 3 vs. Hawks (VIDEO)

Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets- Game Three
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NEW YORK — The Nets played inspired basketball during the first quarter of their critical Game 3 matchup with the Hawks, and this sequence epitomized that somewhat perfectly.

Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack both made great efforts to save the ball inbounds, and once they got to the other end of the floor, Jack and Joe Johnson worked together on a beautiful give-and-go, before Jack found Brook Lopez for the two-handed slam.

Brooklyn led 31-16 after the game’s first 1 minutes.

[Video via The Brooklyn Game]

Hawks’ Al Horford says he will play in Game 2 despite finger injury

Al Horford

Atlanta’s Al Horford suffered a dislocated his little finger on his shooting hand during Game 1 of the Hawks playoff series with the Brooklyn Nets. Then he came out on Monday and said he wasn’t sure of his status for Game 2 Wednesday.

By Tuesday, he was sure of his status, speaking to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Is this really a surprise? It’s the playoffs.

That said, Horford will have his little and ring fingers taped together, something he admitted bothered his shot a little in Game 1. Horford had 10 points on 12 shots in Game 1. The injury didn’t bother him in close, he was 4-of-5 shooting inside eight feet of the rim, but he was 0-of-5 on deeper midrange shots and threes that he normally can knock down.

The Hawks didn’t look dominating like a traditional No. 1 seed in Game 1, they still seem to be trying to get their flow back. Horford is going to have work to do on the defensive end slowing down Brook Lopez, who was the Nets best player in Game 1.