Sean Marks’ roster planning in Brooklyn is faintly beginning to take shape. Gone are Joe Johnson and Andrea Bargnani. In are . . . well, Marks hasn’t hashed that part out yet. But with only 13 players on the roster, and just 5 with guaranteed contracts in 2016-2017 — all of whom are tradeable should they be shopped — it is safe to say that no matter what Marks does, the roster will look different next year.
Here’s a look at roster building options for the Nets, from the Jazz and Nuggets in free agency this year:
Darrel Arthur: It’s clear that with Mudiay, Gallinari, Faried, Chandler, Barton, Nurkic, and Jokic all under contract, that Arthur is not a core piece in Denver. With the TV money explosion, he may decline his $2.9 million player option for next year. If he does, Arthur is still only 27. He has shown he can play capable minutes off an NBA bench, and can defend both the interior and the perimeter. His biggest struggle has been with his health. Arthur is the type of low cost, no splash addition the Nets should look at this summer.
Trevor Booker: The loss of rotation players hurts, and that can be seen in Washington where the Wizards feel the loss of players like Trevor Booker. Booker plays with a ton of energy off the bench. Booker is a quality reserve big who can be a third or fourth big on a playoff team depending on the other components of the roster. And with the Jazz clearly invested in Gobert, Favors, and Trey Lyles up front, you can only pay so many non stars, and Lyles may be up for grabs.
Jeff Withey: Withey is a fine reserve big. He plays hard, stays ready, and, critically, was a huge component of keeping the Jazz afloat this year when Gobert went down. He may seek a bigger role in the offseason, but he is a piece the Nets should take a had look at. Utah may be priced out of the Withey market.
Joffrey Lauvergne: Lauvergne is a fine young big in Denver, thriving as a late second rounder (and showing why you don’t discard second round picks in deals). However, the Nuggets have a $1.7 million team option to retain him, which they are nearly certain to exercise.
JaKarr Sampson: Sampson was recently added by the Nuggets when the Sixers waived him to facilitate the Donatas Motiejunas trade, and who the Sixers could not recover after the deal was rescinded. Clearly, if you’re the 15th man on a team like Philly, how good are you? Sampson has no real NBA skill and the Nets should look elsewhere in their roster building.
DJ Augustin: Augustin has essentially vacillated during his 8 year NBA career between competent reserve point guard and journeyman third string guard. The Nets clearly need upgraded play at the point, but in the way of a starter, or an upper class reserve. Is Augustin helping any more than Donald Sloan? The Thunder just traded him because he lost his reserve role to Cameron Payne.
Shelvin Mack: Your prototypical end of bench guard. Mack really struggled in limited minutes in Atlanta before being shipped to Utah, where, for some reason, some feel he can boost a playoff run. The Nets can comfortably pass here.
Christapher Johnson: Johnson is a fringe relatively young player who has bounced around for several years trying to stick. The Nets do need to look at speculative youth in free agency, but their looks are better spent on undrafted free agents, and players first starting their journeys, rather than guys who have bounced around several years, such that we know what they are.
Mike Miller: Miller is nothing but a veteran bench presence in Denver. He has nothing left in the tank and could retire this summer.
Nothing really significant here. The Jazz and Nuggets, like the Nets, are stronger up front with needs at guard (aside from Mudiay and perhaps Exum), which does not lend itself to deals.