Tag: New Jersey Nets

Timberwolves Roy Basketball

Friday And-1 links: Another report Brandon Roy looks good


Here is our regular look around the NBA — links to stories worth reading and notes to check out (stuff that did not get its own post here at PBT) — done in bullet point form. Because bloggers love bullet points like Packers fans like bratwurst.

• We are in the “everyone looks good working out” portion of the summer, so take all those reports with a grain of salt. But hey, Brandon Roy looks good working out.

• Good read for Jazz fans as the Salt Lake Tribune caught up with Tyrone Corbin.

The Pacers signed Sam Young, Sundiata Gaines and Blake Ahearn to contracts. Those are likely make-good contracts but they might have a real shot at the roster.

• The Timberwolves were “encouraged” by Hassan Whiteside’s workout. Don’t confuse that with them offering him a deal, however.

• The Hawks have signed second round pick forward Mike Scott. GM Danny Ferry said he is going to make the roster this season.

• The Heat are bringing in Mickell Gladness and Jarvis Varnado to training camp on make good contracts. Which means they are basically camp foder.

• The Nets are going to bring in Dominic McGuire and Josh Childress will work out for them next week.

• Chris Wright will get a make-good camp invite from the Raptors.

• The Nuggets have another free agent they may want to deal with and lock down before next summer — GM Masai Ujiri.

• Javaris Crittendon has been charged with murder and is almost out of the NBA, but he’s still all over TMZ.

• The more I read about how Mike Gillispie treated people and players at Texas Tech, the more I am sickened. Some people just don’t know how to handle power and feel the need to demonstrate it all the time. Just to show they have it.

Report: Andray Blatche agrees to terms with Nets

Andray Blatche

UPDATE  Sept. 6, 9:20 am: We mention below that the deal is not yet signed, but a report by Michael Lee in the Washington Post takes it a step further.

But according to two sources close to Blatche, the 6-foot-11 forward has yet to make a decision and is also considering an offer from the Miami Heat. One person close to Blatche said, “Nothing is finalized.”

That would be agent/manager speak for “we are going to put this out there and hope someone will jump in with a better deal.” For either more than the league minimum (which this likely is) or at least a guaranteed deal, which this is not.

But for Blatche, he may have to take what is on the table. There was a reason teams did not race in after the Wizards used their amnesty on him last month. He has to prove himself.

Sept. 5, 8:14 pm: The Nets, already an interesting experiment in chemistry next season, just got a little more entertaining.

Andray Blatche will be joining them in Brooklyn, something first tweeted by Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports and confirmed by Marc Stein at ESPN. This would be a one year deal and a non-guaranteed deal — the Nets could cut him during training camp — but it is expected he would be kept on the roster.

The Wizards used their amnesty on Blatche this summer, finishing a remaking of their locker room that was considered one of the least professional in the NBA. Blatche and his up and down effort were part of that.

Blatche has been down in Houston working with former NBA coach John Lucas both on his game and trying to rehab his reputation. He has the athletic tools to be a very effective NBA player and showed that a few times in April after the Wizards were eliminated from playoff contention. Two seasons ago he averaged 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds a game, but he was never efficient on the court and was very up and down. Then last season his game took a big a step back. The Wizards decided to move on.

But for the Nets this is a good gamble. Blatche can play the four or the five. Brook Lopez and Chris Humphries will start and Mirza Teletovic and Reggie Evans are behind them, but there are minutes to be grabbed if Blatche can play well.

And he can, the question is can he do it consistently. Or will he frustrate Avery Johnson like he has so many coaches before.

How good are the Nets? Coach admits not a contender.

Deron Williams

The Brooklyn Nets are going to be one of the more interesting teams to watch come together next season.

They were awful, injury plagued and seemingly unmotivated last season in Jersey, but now they have a new home in Brooklyn and a new roster — Joe Johnson has been added to a re-signed Deron Williams, Brook Lopez, Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries. That’s a lineup that should score points and be entertaining to watch.

But how good are they? Coach Avery Johnson put it in perspective speaking to the Dallas Morning News (via the Hang Time blog).

“Deron was a big key to the whole puzzle,’’ Avery Johnson said. “To be able to acquire some other talent through free agency or trades or re-signing some of our own guys, it’s pretty exciting for us. We’re not there yet. We’re not a championship team. We got a lot of work to do. But at the same time, we have a much better talent pool than we’ve had the last two years.

“We’re much more versatile than we’ve ever been. Right now, we look good on paper. Now we got to take it from looking good on paper and apply the work to go (forward).’’

They are not contenders. But they are good. That versatility the coach speaks of comes at a price — the Nets have the second highest payroll in the league and I would be worried about it in a couple of years when Johnson is older and more expensive while Lopez and Williams are still on the books. The future could be a mess.

But the present is going to be pretty good. They are going to put up points if they can stay healthy — Wallace, Lopez and Johnson playing off Williams is a serious set of threats. The measuring stick will be their defense and rebounding. They are not going to be very good at that end, but if Johnson can get them to average on defense they will win a lot of games.

To me the Nets, Knicks and Sixers are all kind of in the same place, likely the middle of the pack in the Eastern conference playoff group (from three to six or so). Health and that work to come together Johnson talks about will be what separates those sides and sets up playoff seedings. Boston could be better than this group during the regular season with their depth but where the Celtics are really dangerous is in the playoffs. The Bulls are hard to read without Derrick Rose for much of the year, but expect them in the middle also.

The Atlantic Division is going to be the toughest division in the NBA next season, with four teams (Boston, Brooklyn, New York and Philadelphia) potentially able to win it and the bottom team in Toronto being dangerous and improved. No division is going to be deeper. Which should make for a fun season.

Nets may be in Brooklyn, but players still living in Jersey


The Brooklyn Nets have a very flashy new building in Brooklyn. Well, it looks a little rusty on the outside, but that’s intentional. Inside it’s as state of the art as arenas get now, according to all reports. And it is set up with plenty of revenue-generating luxury boxes, then more exclusive Jay-Z designed suites. Because just luxury suites are not enough anymore.

But the Nets practice facility is still in East Rutherford, New Jersey. About 40 minutes from Brooklyn if there is no traffic. And there is never no traffic.

The Nets will spend nearly twice as many days at the practice facility this season as at Barclays, so as Nets players are finding places to live in the area they are leaning closer to practice than in the city, reports Howard Beck at the New York Times.

So when the final buzzer sounds each night, Brooklyn’s basketball ambassadors will retreat to TriBeCa and Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, and to Edgewater, Hoboken and Clifton in North Jersey. You might see them in Fort Lee, but not in Fort Greene.

“I like Brooklyn a lot,” Deron Williams said, before adding: “We practice in Jersey. In Manhattan, I’m in between both…”

Seven Nets will reside in New Jersey, including the rookie Tyshawn Taylor, who got an apartment in Hoboken, his hometown.

The Nets are shopping for a place to build a new practice facility in the Brooklyn area, something that could be ready in a couple years when their Jersey facility lease is up. That would certainly draw players back to the area.

But lets not just pick on the Nets — less than half the Knicks live in Manhattan (and the six last season was the highest number in years). The Times says there are not Yankees in the Bronx and almost no Mets in Queens. Most of the Giants and Jets live in New Jersey, close to the practice and game facilities in East Rutherford.

But if the Nets get a practice facility built, they could keep a lot of players in the borough (Brooklyn has a mix of young singles and families).

How good can Bulls be until Derrick Rose returns?

Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah,

For the past two regular seasons, the Chicago Bulls were the best team in the East. They were the top seed.

But they played much of the season in their top gear — especially on defense — which overwhelmed opponents but left questions about whether they could step it up in the playoffs. We’ll never know what might have happened if they faced the Heat in the conference finals last year because Derrick Rose’s ACL gave out on a jump stop.

In the off-season the Bulls started making moves to suggest they were looking at adding a star in two summers rather than just trying to win with what they have. The bench got shorter — C.J. Watson turned into Kirk Hinrich, Kyle Korver became Marco Belinelli, Omer Asik became Nazr Mohammed, Ronnie Brewer downgraded into Vladimir Radmanovic.

Now they have to start the season with that bench and without Rose — and likely go until around the All Star break in late February to get him back. So how good are the Bulls next season?

Taj Gibson told ESPNChicago.com he thinks the Bulls will still be competitive (hat tip to SLAM).

“We still did good even when we didn’t have Derrick (last season),” said Gibson, who threw out a ceremonial first pitch before the Chicago White Sox’s game on Monday. “We beat the Heat without Derrick.

“Our mindset hasn’t changed. It’s about staying focused and taking one game at a time. We understand it’s going to be up and down at the beginning of the season. We can’t look forward to the end. We got to look forward to one game at a time and playing to our strengths and just listening to coach (Tom Thibodeau). I know it’s going to be a long season, but I’m really optimistic about what’s going to happen.”

That’s a good attitude. The Bulls were 18-9 in the regular season without Rose and were able to continue to overwhelm opponents, but when it got to the Sixers in the first round of the playoffs the Bulls went 0-4 on games he did not play.

Come the regular season the Bulls are not going to keep winning two-thirds of their games without Rose. But with their defense and athletes they are not a below .500 team either. The issue is that when Rose comes back he will have to round into shape for a while. The Bulls could end up being that six or seven seed that nobody wants to face because they are getting healthy.

But they are not the best team in the East any more. Not sure that they ever really were.