The Nets are in desperate need of a total revamping from top to bottom. I am not going to claim like Bill Simmons that I am declaring my candidacy for the GM position of the New Jersey Nets but I am going to lay out a plan that will help the Nets return to where they should be.
Assets: Devin Harris (5) - 16.5ppg, 6.7apg, 39.5% FG, owed $26,700,000/ 3 years
Brook Lopez (1) – 19.1ppg, 8.9rpg, 51.7% FG, 81.7% FT, Owed $2.4 million next year, team option of $3.0 million in 11/12
Courtney Lee (1) - 12.0ppg, 42.1% FG, 85.6% FT, owed $1.3 million next year, team option of $2.2 million in 11/12
Chris Douglas-Roberts (R) - 11.2ppg, team option of $854,389 for 10/11
Yi Jianlian (2) - 12.5ppg, 6.6rpg, owed $4.0 million next year, qualifying offer of $5.4 million in 11/12
Terrance Williams (R) – 6.1ppg, 3.6rpg, owed $2.2 million next year, team option of $3.0 million in 11/12
PROJECTED CAP SPACE 2010- around $27 million
Draft Picks Credits/Debits
2010 1st round pick from Dallas
2011 2nd round pick from Golden State
2012 1st round pick from Golden state
2012 2nd round pick from Miami
2010 2nd round pick to Miami
With the players listed above they have a young, talented, solid core to build around. Your starting lineup looks like: PG Harris, SG Lee, SF Douglas Roberts, PF Jianlian, and C Lopez. The problem with the Nets is not talent its lack of experience. Devin Harris with the Mavs was not expected to be a leader, and he wasn’t too when he first arrived in NJ. Now that Carter and Jefferson are gone Harris is the elder statesmen on this young team. The Nets have good blocks in Lopez and Harris. Point guards and centers are the most important parts of a team.
The draft is the logical place to start rebuilding this team. Many Net’s fans have high hopes that their team will win the lottery and the exclusive rights to John Wall. However the team is guaranteed no lower than the fourth selection. This means that they will have the opportunity to draft Wall, Evan Turner, Derrick Favors, DeMarcus Cousins, Cole Aldrich, or Wesley Johnson all of which can help immediately.
The Draft Scenarios:
#1- Win the lottery and select John Wall
Pros- all world athlete, leader, pass first pg
Cons- What happens to Harris, can he play the 2 guard.
#2 Win lottery and trade down or trade for veteran talent.
Probably would never happen, but you never know. Lots of teams are looking to get John Wall, veteran shooting guard or small forward are needed, however will you really get value for John Wall, and who’s going to give up that talent to take him.
#3 Lose lottery but get top 4 pick
Pick for need, SG or SF, best bet would be Evan Turner, a G/F who has season averages of 19.5ppg, 5.8ppg, 9.3rpg or Wesley Johnson 16.0ppg, 8.7rpg, 2.3apg.
#4 Trade Devin Harris and Dallas’ 1st round in ’10 or G.S. 2012 1st round pick to move back into the top 5 (kind of what OKC did when they traded Ray Allen to Boston for the #5 pick (Jeff Green).
Best Case- John Wall
Worst Case- Derrick Favors or Al Farouq Aminu
Also they have Dallas’ first round pick this year which will translate to a late pick 20-25 but you could pick up a Luke Harangody, Greivis Vasquez, or Da’ Sean Butler
2010 Free Agency Scenarios:
With new a new owner and a new arena on the way the lights are getting brighter for the Nets but will they be able to bring in free agents to fill the seats. Everyone is talking about the LBJ Jay-Z friendship but will that really bring him to Brooklyn. Like the Knicks the Nets have the money and in my opinion a better working roster. However can you convince LeBron that playing with Harris, Lopez, and the new draft picks that they can move in the winning direction?
If the Nets feel early on that they can’t sign James or Wade, they should turn their attention to Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer. One or both will significantly help as Johnson would open it up inside for Lopez and Boozer would give them another low post scoring presence. Johnson may command a max salary but I think they could sign both to less than max money.
If neither bites look for them to make a run at Ray Allen or Manu Ginobili. Granted both will probably take pay cuts to stay with their teams they would both provide instant offense, professionalism, and veteran leadership. Signing only one big time free agent would allow them to pursue a big name in 2011 also.
Going into this off-season the Nets will have $26 million committed to 7 players. The season after as of right now will only be $9.3 million committed to Devin Harris, but Lopez, Lee, Jianlian, Williams, and CDR will most likely be picked up bring the total to roughly $23 million. In 2011 they can make a run at Al Horford, Jamal Crawford, Tayshaun Prince, Yao Ming, Marc Gasol, Channing Fyre, and Tony Parker.
Lights are dim now in New Jersey but the opportunities are there to right the ship and bring New Jersey back to the top in the East.