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The Brooklyn Nets are one of those teams you just can't figure out. They look outstanding some nights, such as their domination of the Chicago Bulls in Game 1. Then, they lay eggs in Games 2 and 3, and you wonder what the true identity of this team really is.
The fact is, when you're that inconsistent, chances are that you're not that great of a ballclub. The Nets certainly have a nice foundation with Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, but they need more than that.
Sorry, but Joe Johnson is not worth what he is getting paid—not even close. His performances in Games 2 and 3 were par the course for what type of playoff performer he is.
Johnson is a lifetime 41.1 percent shooter in the postseason and is averaging an awful .041 win shares per 48 minutes. His career regular-season averages? They are just 44.2 percent from the floor and .096 win shares per 48 minutes.
Johnson could never seem to rise to the occasion with the Atlanta Hawks, and he is failing to do so again thus far in Brooklyn. That could change, as it is still early in the season, but how often does a zebra change its stripes?
This isn't to say that Johnson is a bad player or that he cannot be a solid contributor; it's just that he is taking up a good amount of cap space that the Nets could be using to fill other holes, such as their lack of swingman depth.
Outside of Johnson, Brooklyn has no dependable scorers at that spot. Gerald Wallace is a mere shell of the player he once was, and MarShon Brooks continues to disappoint.
The problem is, the Nets probably can't deal Johnson, as he still has three years and $70 million remaining on his contract. Throw in the massive amounts of money they will be paying Williams, Lopez and Wallace during that span and beyond, and you don't exactly have the right ingredients to make significant roster changes.
To put it plainly, Brooklyn needs wings who can actually score. The Nets also need some guys who can defend, as they ranked 15th in defensive efficiency during 2012-13. That's fourth-lowest among playoff teams.
To put another thing plainly, the Nets simply don't have the kind of money to go out and get the kinds of players necessary to fill those needs. Unless they are miraculously able to unload some of their salary, it looks like it's going to be a very uneventful summer in Brooklyn.
At the very least, Kris Humphries comes off the books in 2014.