Power Ranking Every Player on the Brooklyn Nets' Roster
The Brooklyn Nets have been involved in some of the biggest deals during this offseason, which saw their roster shake up dramatically compared to the one they had last season.
They have been the most active team in free agency this year, and they have compiled a group of great individual players so far. The question is: can those players they acquired mesh together and play at a high level to win the championship, the reason why this team has been put together in the first place?
This slideshow will rank every player on the Nets' roster from top to bottom, while taking into consideration the players' overall skills and production at this stage of their careers.
15. Tornike Shengelia
Tornike Shengelia is just 21 years old and experienced his first season in the NBA last year.
He only appeared in 19 regular season games and averaged 1.6 points per game and 1.2 rebounds per game in just 4.9 minutes of action per contest (per Basketball Reference). He didn't have a significant impact on the team last season and saw himself bounce around back and forth from the D-League.
Next season, Shengelia probably won't have a big role on the team either, especially since the team is now loaded on the wings and both forward spots.
14. Mirza Teletovic
Like Shengelia, Mirza Teletovic experienced his first season in the NBA last year and didn't have a major impact on the Nets' successes and failures.
However, Teletovic is a more seasoned basketball player, who spent the last nine years playing in the Belgian Basketball League and Spanish ACB League.
Teletovic will turn 28 years old by the time the 2013-14 season starts, and he will either be thrown into the rotation right away or never be called upon again. His ceiling is incredibly low and his game has already peaked, but the Nets could still use him as a stretch-4 due to his three-point shooting prowess (40.5 percent career three-point shooter in the Euroleague).
13. Mason Plumlee
Mason Plumlee hasn't seen a single minute in an NBA game yet, but he looks to be a very promising young player.
In his first game in the Summer League, Plumlee scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, displaying the rebounding prowess that he was praised for coming into the draft. In the next game, he followed that up with a monstrous performance, scoring 23 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the field and grabbing nine boards.
At only 23 years old, Plumlee is one of a few young players on this team who could be a potential building block for the future, and the only reason he ranks this low is because he's unproven. The core of this squad is very old and the championship window is short, but Plumlee would probably be sticking around for a while.
12. D.J. White
Since he entered the league, D.J. White has seen his numbers and production slowly decline as he is beginning to enter his prime.
He was never the focal point on any of the previous teams he has been on and he never will be. He's a modest role player who brings energy and hustle off the bench, as he battles in the paint with the larger power forwards and centers in this league.
With Kevin Garnett, Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche all ahead of him on the food chain, White probably won't see much playing time at all next season.
11. Tyshawn Taylor
Tyshawn Taylor is another player who could be one of the future players on the franchise, but it all depends on how well he develops and improves down the road.
With Deron Williams and Jason Kidd as his mentors, he shouldn't have too much of a problem developing his point guard skills in the future.
Last season was a learning experience for Taylor, as averaged 5.8 minutes per game in just 38 games while C.J. Watson was handling the primary backup point guard duties while Williams was on the bench. With Watson out of the picture, Taylor will see his minutes go up naturally.
10. Shaun Livingston
Joining Taylor in the backcourt is former fourth overall pick Shaun Livingston.
In the first three years of Livingston's career before suffering a debilitating knee injury (via ESPN), he averaged a respectable 9.8 points and 6.4 assists per 36 minutes. Although his recovery from the major knee injury was one of the most aspiring comeback stories in recent history, it took him a while to get back on track and he has bounced around to seven different teams before landing in Brooklyn.
As a 6'7" point guard, Livingston will be fighting with Taylor for minutes at the backup point guard spot, since it's still unclear who will earn that role.
9. Reggie Evans
Reggie Evans does just one thing, but he does it well.
Last year with the Nets, Evans averaged an other-worldly 16.3 rebounds per 36 minutes, along with a 26.7 percent total rebound rate, which is the fraction of total available rebounds that he grabs while he's on the floor.
Evans brings a different dimension to a team that lacks rebounding from their starting big men. Neither Kevin Garnett nor Brook Lopez averaged over eight rebounds last season, so Evans' rebounding energy off the bench will definitely help the team secure the glass when they need rebounding and toughness on the interior.
8. Jason Terry
If I said Jason Terry was the eighth-best player on the team two years ago, it would be unbelievable unless I was referring to an All-Star roster.
Terry will turn 36 by the time the season starts and he isn't getting any younger. Last season with the Boston Celtics, he had his worst statistical season since his rookie campaign in 1999-00. He averaged 10.1 points per game and recorded the lowest assist average of his career with 2.5.
As a member of the Nets now, Terry will still play a vital role off of the bench behind Joe Johnson. The experiment with him at point guard didn't work well last season, and Terry probably won't be getting anymore starters minutes for the rest of his career.
7. Andray Blatche
Joining the Nets is probably the best thing that happened to Andray Blatche last year. Not only did it help his career get back on track, but he has emerged as a very efficient offensive player in limited playing time.
Blatche posted a career-high field goal percentage (51.2) last season, along with a career high in points per 36 minutes (19.5). Additionally, his player efficiency rating of 21.9 is over four points higher than his second-most efficient season in 2009-10 with the Washington Wizards.
Picking up Blatche for just $1.4 million this year was an absolute steal (via Mike Mazzeo of ESPN). His offensive prowess spells Reggie Evans' lack of offense and the two back-up big men create an interesting mix in the front-court.
6. Andrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko's recent addition to the team rounds out a bench that can rival any starting lineup in the league.
While he's older now, Kirilenko is still an elite defender with great all-around offensive abilities that he's been praised for throughout his career. As the best player on the Nets' bench, Kirilenko will see a lot of playing time next season at both the 3 and 4 positions, especially since Pierce and Garnett are much older now.
Last season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Kirilenko put up averages of 12.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game, which are literally right on point with his career averages, so it's safe to say that Kirilenko still has something left in the tank.
5. Kevin Garnett
At 37 years old, Kevin Garnett obviously won't be the explosive, multi-dimensional player he once was back in his prime. However, he still brings a lot to the table and gives the team a new sense of toughness and meanness that they didn't have last year.
Garnett can still defend at a high level and his added bulk to his body allows him to play the center position quite nicely when Brook Lopez needs a breather. He can also play as a stretch-4 and knock down mid-range jumpers at an effective clip.
According to Hoop Data, Garnett knocked down a remarkable 47 percent of his shot attempts from 16 to 23 feet last season while taking over five shots per game from that area. He's not a three-point thread by any means, but he can still step out and hit a 20-foot jumper as well as anyone.
4. Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson might've had his worst statistical season in 10 years, but he is still a top ten shooting guard in this league.
At 6'7" 240 pounds, Johnson has a beast of a body for a guard and he often uses his size to take advantage of smaller defenders in the post. He didn't have a fantastic 2012-13 campaign playing alongside Deron Williams, but the two have had another year to develop their chemistry together on the court.
Johnson is also getting on the wrong side of 30, but his style of play should transition into his twilight years, as it doesn't depend that much on athleticism and reckless stunts.
3. Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce is another player who is already way passed his prime, but his style of play translates much better into his later years than some other athletes.
Last season, Pierce averaged 18.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game on 43.6 percent shooting from the field. They aren't up to par with his career averages, but his per-36 minute numbers are right where they need to be.
Pierce is still an elite player and until he has a so-called "off" season, then he will still be treated like one. And the scary thing is, he's only the third-best player on this team.
2. Brook Lopez
Brook Lopez is the future of the franchise and one of the best centers in the league right now, and his exceptional play last season culminated into his first ever All-Star selection.
Earlier in the season, his minutes were limited as he was slowly recovering from a foot injury that forced him to miss all but five games in the 2011-12 season. With a healthy Lopez—along with a few key offseason signings—the Nets catapulted into the playoff race and became a top four team in the Eastern Conference.
Lopez does not have the keys to the franchise just yet, but his time will come, and soon he will be recognized as the face of the Brooklyn Nets.
1. Deron Williams
It wasn't too long ago when the on-going debate of the best point guard in the NBA included Deron Williams in the discussion.
In the last few seasons, injuries and lack of talent surrounding the dynamic point guard have certainly limited his effectiveness, but Williams is still one of the best point guards in the association.
Last season, which was supposedly a down season for Williams, he still put up 18.9 points and 7.7 assists per game on 44 percent shooting from the field, along with a player efficiency rating of 20.3. It's still a bit off from his 19 and 10 days with the Utah Jazz, but he has a lot of options to work with next season.
The success and failures of the Nets will ultimately fall upon the shoulders of Williams. He is the best player on the team and the engine that makes everything work. Without Williams playing at the highest level possible, the Nets will not be able to compete for a championship.