The Brooklyn Nets: A Borough of Untapped Potential
The Brooklyn Nets are essentially the Cleveland Browns of the NBA. They haven’t been able to put anything on the court worth watching in years, and they’re looking around with all their assets in Boston wondering what the hell they can do about it. The answer is that they honestly can’t do a thing other than pawn away the few talented pieces they hold in Jeremy Lin, the aging middle of the road point guard, and after pawning Lopez that’s all they have. Where’s the hope? Where’s the tough grit and grind personality of New York City and Brooklyn in particular? There is so much potential for Brooklyn to get back into the swing of a weakening Eastern Conference. It’s time for a top to bottom shake up for the Brooklyn basketball organization.
Right now they’re in a prime spot, being an empty canvas in the largest American city means you get to paint whatever picture you want with the city always being an anchor of enticement. They have a chance to establish their identity as a basketball team as well. Nobody on this team is restricting them to a specific style of play which is perfect for building, but terrible for competing. Where Brooklyn can begin is by liquidating their few remaining assets into picks, cash, and small contracts. It’s the simple beginning to the rebuild, and trust me the Nets don’t feel the same New York pressure to win now that the Knicks deal with. They can absolutely do their rebuild the right way without any real expectations.
Let’s say they pull in a second round pick or cash for Timofey Mozgov, they’ll free up $15 million this year and $16 million the following two years. Jeremy Lin can bring you a young PG at around $4-$5 million a year, so you’re now looking at +$23 million salary differential with two moves. We’re starting to heat up now.
Next is what we do with all the cap space and the lack of picks, because all their picks belong to Boston still. Rebuilding without the draft is like rebuilding in a video game, because they simulated rookies in video games always suck. That leaves us with rebuilding using only players who are getting older and get paid much more. It’s tough, but it’s quite possible. Look at someone like Malcolm Brogdon who has two years left on his deal in Milwaukee, and unless they come around and put it together will probably hear offers outside of the Midwest. This is a promising young talent who Brooklyn can pay a lot of money to come in and grow into their new identity.
Adding a promising young guy is not a new concept nor does it come at any mighty price typically, but a team of young guys is Phoenix and it’s not bringing home any rings or new fans. The Brooklyn rebuild will need someone with a winning past who won’t hog up their cap room, and can curve the losing culture that Brooklyn has been living in. And no, not Otto Porter.
There aren’t a ton of veteran options, but finding a way to add someone to the locker room who has been a part of a winning organization can impact the team’s dynamic more than we know. Brooklyn is a valuable, promising franchise with the city of New York standing behind it. Look, I hate to say it, but Knicks fans are looking for a reason to pull for someone else. If the Nets can get their head on straight and rebuild the right way, not this garbage “win now, trade away all our picks” nonsense, they’ll have the support of the city.
That’s the thing, someone has to start making these decisions. As of now, the only person putting any effort into finding a way for Brooklyn to get better is