How to Fix the New Jersey Nets: Get Two Impact Players in Offseason
The Nets are a complete mess. They are now getting blown out regularly, and much of the team appears to have given up. The reality is that this year's team will be lucky to win 15 games and may even threaten the all-time record for the worst season.
This year is one where they are going to go through the motions and try to see who has any talent.
So what do we know about this year's team?
Devin Harris is a good talent, but not a pure point guard.
Courtney Lee is a role player best served by coming off the bench.
Chris Douglas-Roberts is a scorer who is not very good on defense, and has had trouble staying healthy.
Yi Jianlian can score and stretch a defense, but he is not a good rebounder and he has had trouble staying healthy. He was the only Net to show up against the Thunder.
Brook Lopez is big and can play a solid center, but has had trouble handling the double teams and is clearly frustrated by the losing. He has had trouble scoring against big athletic centers.
Terrence Williams is an athlete who needs to learn how to play team basketball. His best position is SF, but he is too short to play that position against NBA SF's. Kevin Durant scored with ease over him as he could not bother Durant at all. Durant is a great player, but Williams was just unable to offer any resistance.
The rest of the players on the roster are all very replaceable.
So, looking at this roster, what are the most glaring needs? The short answer is at least one perimeter scorer and a true rebounding power forward.
The good news is that there are two power forwards who will be unrestricted free agents this year and who will likely be looking for a new home: Carlos Boozer and Chris Bosh.
Bosh and Boozer are very different players, but would both immediately be the best player on the Nets. Boozer is a bruising PF who boxes out and posts up with strength. Even though he is usually shorter than his opponent, he is a threat for a 20-10 game every night. Plus, he is an excellent post defender. He will not block shots, but he will also not let his man get good post position.
Bosh is an athlete. He is 6'11", long and lean. He can jump, block shots, shoot, and move with ease. He is not a great post player, but he has range on his shot and can score on anyone. He lacks typical strength of a PF and can get pushed around underneath. Despite that, he averages 11 rebounds a game.
It is rumored that Miami will try to sign one of these two so that they can team up Wade with either Bosh or Boozer. The Nets should put on a full court press to sign the other player. Let Yi be the third power player to back up Lopez and the new PF.
The second part is the draft. Right now, the Nets are looking at the best chance for the top pick. If they get lucky, then John Wall is the choice. Wall is a 6'4" stud point guard who scores at will and knows how to feed his teammates the ball. He would turn Harris into a two and the Nets ball handling would improve greatly.
However, if they do not get the top pick, then they should draft Xavier Henry of Kansas. He is a stud athlete who can shoot and score.
If both Wall and Henry are gone, then they should look to draft Derrick Favors of Georgia Tech or Ed Davis of North Carolina. Both would fill the PF need.
In that situation, then the Nets need to go after Rudy Gay of Memphis with a max contract and hope that the Grizzlies do not match. Rudy Gay is a scorer. The Nets need a true SF and Gay would fill that need. The reality is that the Nets are not going to get Lebron because the Nets have not shown that they are willing to spend the money necessary.
The reality is that until the Nets are in Brooklyn, they need to think like a small market team. That means that they need to expect that they will be the second choice for big free agents and they need to think creatively.
However, if they can add a big wing and a big time power player in the offseason, the Nets can become a 50 win team next year.
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