The Nets made a ton of moves this offseason with the biggest being signing Jermey Lin to a three year, $36 million dollar contract. They also signed veterans like Randy Foye, Luis Scola, Trevor Booker, and traded Young to the Pacers for the 20th pick. With that pick they drafted SG Caris LeVert from Michigan. Despite the foot injuries, this was a high risk, high reward type of move. The talent is obviously there for LeVert, he just have to stay healthy and put if all together.
Despite the bleak circumstances in Brooklyn (Nets don’t own there own first round pick until 2019), I’m excited about the future and vision of this team. My optimism stems from the hiring of HC Kenny Atkinson and GM Sean Marks. Marks of course is from the San Antonio pedigree and the Spurs have been the model of consistency for the last two decades in the NBA. Atkinson was an assistant coach for both the Knicks and Hawks, and was with Lin in NY during the height of Linsanity.
Together Marks and Atkinson have already started building the foundation. Instead of going after high priced free agents this offseason that don’t fit the team, Marks and Atkinson signed high character players that will buy into what the Nets are trying to do. The Nets need to build a culture and an identity. Once you have that established then you can go after players who fit the mold of that culture and identity.
The key word for this team and season is patience. Young guys like Rondale Hollis Jefferson, LeVert, McCullough and Whitehead need to develop. This is year 1 of the rebuilding phase in Brooklyn. With no first round picks until 2019, the Nets are going to have to get creative and build through free agency. For the first time since the Nets came to Brooklyn, there is actually a plan in place for the future. That should keep Nets fans like myself and other satisfied during this long season.