After a slower than expected start to the season, the Nets let it be known that any of their star players — Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez — were available in trade, if the assets that came back in return were somewhat reasonable.
Brooklyn got close a couple of times, but ultimately decided not to pull the trigger on any of the offers that were made. The primary issue, of course, is that all three of those players come with some very pricey contracts, which makes finding a palatable deal for both sides somewhat of a challenge.
Since the offers have now come and gone, there doesn’t seem to be a scenario where the Nets will undergo any sweeping change — and head coach Lionel Hollins recently confirmed as much.
Lionel Hollins isn’t expecting anything to change over the All-Star break.
“Yes, I do,” Hollins said when asked if he thought he would have the same roster after next Thursday’s trade deadline. The Nets, who lost 95-86 to the Grizzlies Tuesday night to head into the break with a 21-31 record, are one game behind the Hornets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Does Hollins think that the Nets keeping the same roster will get them into the playoffs?
“I don’t know,” he said with a smile. “We’re going to find out.”
The words “playoffs” and “Nets” wouldn’t seem to belong in the same sentence if you’ve watched Brooklyn’s inconsistent, sub-.500 play this season.
But this is the Eastern Conference, where the team at the top of the standings, the Atlanta Hawks, could honestly lose all 29 of their remaining regular season games and still make the playoffs with their 43 victories.
Right now, the teams in those final two playoff spots in the East — Charlotte and Miami — are each seven games under .500. The Nets are only one game back, so the postseason remains a real possibility.
If Hollins is to be believed, help isn’t on the way, so the team will need to try to make it there with the players already in place on the roster.