Tag: Brook Lopez

2013 NBA Draft

Nets want to trade up in draft


The Nets swapped their 2015 first-rounder with the Hawks’ (15 for 29), owe their 2016 first-rounder to the Celtics, must allow Celtics to swap 2017 first-rounders and owe their 2018 first-rounder to the Celtics.

In other words, the aging Nets can’t rebuild by tanking.

So where does Brooklyn – which owns the Nos. 29 and 41 picks in this year’s draft – go from here?

Nets general manager Billy King, via Thomas Duffy of Nets Daily:

I will say that we’re trying to move up in the draft. We’ll explore options to get higher. … We already know of some teams who maybe want to move their pick so we’ll be talking to them next week.

The Nets are short on trade assets unless they’re now willing to deal Mason Plumlee, who had a reduced role in the playoffs. But that’d be risky with Brook Lopez likely to opt out, and Plumlee’s value has likely dropped.

One big advantage the Nets have is their willingness to spend. They entered last year’s draft with no picks and then bought three second-rounders. It might not be possible to buy a pick above 29, but they could purchase second-rounders to contribute to a deal.

Unfortunately for Brooklyn, first-round picks are more valuable with the salary cap rising. The salary scale for first-rounders has already been set based on a lower projected cap, so rookie-scale contracts will occupy an even lower percentage of the cap (and, after they end, have relatively smaller cap holds).

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

brook lopez joe johnson kg

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?