The Brooklyn Nets are playing out the string, losers of four straight and seven of their last nine, long removed from playoff consideration.
They have been intermittently resting their two veteran stars, Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young, and now they have decided to shut them down for the final six games of the season despite the pair being healthy. This according to interim coach Tony Brown, via Mike Mazzeo of ESPN.
The Nets say they want to look at some of their other players more closely down the stretch.
If your first thought is “they’re tanking for better lottery odds” you must be a Celtics’ fan, because the Nets’ first-round pick belongs to Boston unprotected, as part of the Kevin Garnett deal a few years back. The Nets have the fourth-worst record in the NBA (and it’s possible Phoenix could pass them now).
The Nets made one smart move this year, hiring Sean Marks as GM and giving him power — and hopefully time and patience — to rework the team in arguably the worst position of any in the NBA. Not only are the Nets already one of the worst teams, but they also don’t control their first-round pick until 2019, and have few trade assets.
Lopez and Young may be their best trade pieces, expect their names to come up in rumors this off-season. But don’t expect Marks to move them just to move them, he’s going to wait for a good deal that can help his rebuilding efforts.