Nets Overall Team Grade
The Nets added some toughness and physicality to their roster which was much needed after an awful 2009-10 season. Favors has the potential to be an All-Star while James will be an immediate upgrade at the forward spot. I still think they gave up too much to get the former Longhorn but there is no question the Nets improved during the draft. (Grade: B)
3. Derrick Favors, PF, Georgia Tech
I know Wesley Johnson's name recently popped up, but this is the wise pick. If Favors pans out, imagine a frontcourt of him and Lopez for the next 8-10 years. His star potential is greater than Johnson's. Of course, there is still speculation New Jersey could try to trade this pick. (Pick Grade: LOVE IT)
24. Damion James, F, Texas
The Nets acquired this pick from the Hawks for the 27th and 31st pick. New Jersey must have been very high on James, who was falling down the board, in order to give up two of the next seven picks to get him. He will be ready to contribute off the bench right away but likely won't be anything more than a solid role player. (Pick Grade: Don't Get It)
2009-10 Season Summary:
We knew the Nets were going to have a rough go of it this past season but nobody imagined they would be flirting with being the worst team in NBA history. Injuries played a factor in their pathetic outcome but the fact that New Jersey was in year one of re-building mode led to their ultimate demise. One area Nets nation should be optimistic about is the continued development of second-year center Brook Lopez who is looking more and more like a future NBA All-Star and a solid building block.
The up-coming off-season will be crucial to the future of the franchise. The Nets will have one of the top picks in the NBA Draft with the best chance at landing freshman phenom John Wall. Add in about $33 million in cap space to make a run at some of the top free agents on the market, and the Nets figure to re-build rather quickly.
20101-11 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Brook Lopez/Johan Petro/Brian Zoubek
PF: Troy Murphy/Derrick Favors/Kris Humphries/Sean May
SF: Travis OUtlaw/Damion James
SG: Terrence Williams/Anthony Morrow/Quinton Ross
PG: Devin Harris/Jordan Farmar/Ben Uzoh
NBA Free Agents:
SF Bobby Simmons (UFA)
SF Trenton Hassell (UFA)
SF Jarvis Hayes (UFA)
PG Chris Quinn (UFA)
PF Josh Boone (UFA)
2010-11 Team Salary: Approximately $53.6 million
2010-11 League Salary Cap: $58 million
Nets acquire PF Troy Murphy in four-way trade that sends SG Courtney Lee to Rockets
Nets sign PF Sean May to 1-year, league minimum deal
Nets acquire SG Anthony Morrow from Golden State for trade exception
Nets sign C Johan Petro to 3-year, $10 million deal
Nets sign PG Jordan Farmar to 4-year, $12 million deal
Nets sign F Travis Outlaw to 5-year, $35 million deal
Nets acquire 2012 Second Round Pick from Milwaukee for SG Chris Douglas-Roberts
Nets acquire F Damion James (24th pick) from Atlanta for SG Jordan Crawford (27th pick) and C Tibor Pleiss (31st pick)
Nets waive G Keyon Dooling
Nets acquire SF Quinton Ross from Wizards for PF Yi Jianlian and Cash Considerations
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. An Alpha Dog- With a ton of cap space this off-season, New Jersey needs to land one of the marquee free agents. I expect them to throw their hats into the LeBron and Dwyane Wade sweepstakes, but it may be hard to convince either superstar to join a re-building franchise. Although, the allure of possibly playing alongside Wall and the influence of Bron's boy Jay-z could play a factor. Assuming they whiff on their attempts at James and Wade, targeting Joe Johnson is the next best option.
2. A complementary big man for Brook Lopez- With all that cap space, the Nets are able to pursue one of the top wing free agents and also go after a power forward to play alongside Lopez. Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, and David Lee will all be on the market this summer and would make Lopez even more dangerous of a threat compared to what Yi Jianlian and Kris Humphries were able to do this past season.
3. Start Shopping Devin Harris- If Jay-z's squad does land the first pick and drafts Wall, it will be interesting to see what they do with Devin Harris who took a step back this past season due to a lack of talent around him. Since Wall and Harris are the same mold of point guard; quicker players who rely on their ability to drive or get out in the open court and are not great outside shooters, expect Harris to be shopped in order to clear more cap space or land another valuable asset. How about this one: Harris, Yi, and #27 to the Pacers for Troy Murphy and Indiana's first round pick (tentatively #10.) Murphy would help solve off-season need #2 and is a free agent after the season so there is not a long-term investment and another lottery pick adds more talent.