Fizer's Take: New Jersey Nets
A full year without point guard legend Jason Kidd and a year with rising star Devin Harris... Wow. It seems like Devin made Nets fans forget what Jason Kidd has done to the team. A season that was filled with mishaps and expected downfall, the Nets were ready to just "play basketball" throughout the 82-game sched. Richard Jefferson was no longer there so Vince Carter was left to fill the void for the leadership spot both left by Kidd and RJ. Well, the Nets did get an answer in the 08 draft when they landed 7-footer Brook Lopez at 10, pretty much ironic to think that all Jason Kidd needed was a center that could fill in the paint for the Nets and now that the team has one, Kidd's no longer there. Tsk..Tsk... Still, no one was complaining. Especially when Devin exploded for 41 points against the visiting Kidd and the Dallas Mavericks. The fans even went gaga thanking Cuban for handing them a young point guard that could be the cornerstone of the Nets' future. The one thing that made the Nets surprising this year was their accomplishment last season. Nobody and I mean Nobody expected them to be in a thick of a fight for a playoff spot but they did. Though in the end, they didn't make it but still, with a backcourt of Devin Harris and VC plus Bobby Simmons and Brook Lopez's impressive season, the Nets' future seem just fine. Their big acquisition that needed to improve alot seems to be Yi Jianlian who seems to lose interest in playing for the Nets. If he comes in ready next year, no doubt, the NJN will be closer to redemption. The Nets did finish the year OK and a notch better than what fans expected from them with a 34-48 mark.
The Nets were prepared to make shift through the 2009 NBA Draft and upon the news of trading Vince Carter just before big draft, it became clear that there are holes left to fill on that spot. So, they turned and snubbed DeJuan Blair and selected athletic versatile wingman Terrence Williams. Though he is already 22, Williams still has a pretty much wide room to improve with the Nets. He could easily adjust to Lawrence Frank's system and could make a devastating tandem with Devin Harris in the future. The one thing that intrigued me with Williams is how he is able to play 3 positions very well and thanks to his athleticism, he can make it look easy at times. He can be part of a 3-guard rotation in which the Nets have been pretty much comfortable since the J-Kidd, Carter and RJ days. Terrence Williams could help the team in the future seasons to come.
The offseason moves were particularly stunning for most Nets fans. Trading their captain and leader and Vince Carter was probably a big shock but then again, if the team needs rebuilding, they might have to get rid of his big contract, not to mention, his aging decline. The positive side of this trade was that they acquired Courtney Lee, Rafer Alston, Tony Battie thus making the team flexible for their salary cap in the future. The one player that intrigue me other than Harris, Lopez and Jianlian was Chris Douglas-Roberts. He has proven that he belonged in the league. He wanted to prove to other teams how much they made a mistake by letting him fall in the second-round. CDR has been aggressive offensively and expect for it to continue. Yi Jianlian has been billed as soft after showing poor performances last season. This should be the year where he's expected to bounce back and prove critics wrong. We'll see whether he'll ever live up to it. Overall, the New Jersey Nets have a very bright future. A new look team, a new owner (Russian billionaire), a new start for the team that has been on the rise for many years. Can they find their way back in the playoffs? Will they be able to surprise a lot of people this season? Can Brook Lopez and Devin Harris continue their string of dominance last season especially now that VC is gone? Will Courtney Lee fill the 2 spot well? Still remains to be seen but knowing how eager this team is for 2010, things will be looking smooth once again.
NBA Draft Grade: B-
NBA Offseason Grade: C-
Predicted W-L: 29-53
This is just a writer's opinion... Anyone care to comment, I am open for it^^
the nets will be one of the bottom 4-8 teams in the league next year. But they freed up a lot of contract space and have two legit young all-star caliber building pieces in Harris and Lopez. I'm not sure guys like TWill or Lee will be anything special, but the nets are off to a great start in the rebuilding process. This is also a great opportunity to find out if jianlian is a player or not. I think they are in a good spot right now. They are young, athletic, have two key building blocks and no real bad contracts. Everything is in place for this team to blow up the next couple years.
Yea, they'll be bad this year, but they have a TON of building blocks for the future. And with all the money they're freeing up, it's basically guaranteed they'll make a splash in free agency after the season. And they'll have a high lotto pick in the draft so the Nets are an up-coming team after they bomb this season. I like them as a good team in the near future.
You're still doin these?! lol
TWill + D Harris + Brook Lopez will be a DOMINANT trio in a couple years if they can stay together
Awesome, the Knicks are after the Hornets :) Anyways, I think this team is a good 2-man (Joe Johnson, maybe Randy Foye) and a consistent PF away from being a contender.
He already turned down a 4-year, $60 million dollar extension, so it seems inevitable. I really don't know what he was thinking by turning down all of that money. I mean, is he really worth more than $15 mil a year?
I've always stood up for Joe as a player. But he took a step back last season. He was not consistently taking over games. Him turning down that 60 mill makes me think he will be serioulsy considering leaving.
I'm a Joe Johnson fan. He struggled with a few nagging injuries last season and took a slight step back, but he still had a very good season. He led his team into the second round of the playoffs. In my opinion, Johnson is the fourth best shooting guard in the NBA behind Kobe, Wade and Roy. I had Johnson as the third best, but I think Roy surpassed him last season.
After turning down that much money, I seriously doubt that's he's returning to the Hawks. I have a strange feeling that he'll end up with the Knicks and his former coach Mike D'Antoni.