Nets Analysis of Every Free Agent

Free agency starts on Friday, July 1.  And new General Manager Sean Marks has started the offseason with a bang, dealing Thaddeus Young for Caris LeVert, and trading up in the second round to add Isaiah Whitehead.  As I wrote on this site, when Friday comes, the Nets will be faced with some big decisions regarding their direction.

 

The Nets free agency search needs to be exhaustive.  They do not have a lottery pick joining a 21-61 team that lost its second best player.  In 2017, they swap first rounders with Boston assuming Boston is better (likely), which will mean no lottery pick once again.  They will receive a second rounder from Boston after the swap (top 45 protected), but do not own their own second rounder.  Then in 2018, the Nets do not have a draft pick at all.  Finally, they have their full complement of first rounders in 2019, and second rounders in 2021.

 

So suffice to say, that makes nailing free agency very important: free agency is the only place where the Nets have the ability to add materially to the roster without taking anything off the table, for the foreseeable future.

 

The Nets, as discussed in my piece on their free agency options, face a fork in the road.  They can decide to go forward with Lopez, in which case they will look, aggressively, to add free agents this summer and next.  Or, they can decide to launch into a complete rebuild by dealing Lopez, and simply renting their space to teams needing to dump contracts, in exchange for assets.

 

Should the Nets hit the market, it will be key to look at all avenues for improvement it affords.  The Nets, after all, do not just need one or two pieces.  Brook Lopez is the only proven starter on the roster.  The bench is not that good either, at the moment.  Bojan Bogdanovic, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Caris LeVert, Sean Kilpatrick, Isaiah Whitehead, Chris McCullough, and Yogi Ferrell are a decent group of youngsters, but Bogdanovic and Hollis-Jefferson are the best of the group at this moment, and neither would anchor a good NBA bench.  The Nets have needs, everywhere.  They need frontline talent.  Backline talent.  And, frankly, more youth: the Nets youth lacks the upside of high end lottery talent, and without lottery picks coming, the organization must see if it can add youth in free agency in the hopes it can develop it.

 

All of that means the Nets must look at everything.  Who can step in and start?  Are there any younger free agents we can bring in and make 5-10% better?  Any reliable reserves.  Let’s take a look.

 

 

TIER 1: FOUNDATIONAL SUPERSTARS

 

There is only one (other than the not really free LeBron James): Kevin Durant.  I would not put the chance of getting Durant above 1 in 10,000.  With the news out there that the Nets have not secured a meeting, the chance is perhaps lower than that.  Clearly, the Nets getting Durant would totally change the franchise: so the Nets have to try.  If they do, the whole free agency plan changes.  It is more likely Hillary Clinton marries Donald Trump than the Nets get Durant, but you miss all the shots you don’t take.

 

 

TIER 2: VERY GOOD NBA STARTERS

 

Unlike with Kevin Durant, the Nets may have a chance to grab players in this tier.  They also need to grab players in this tier.  The Nets need players at, a little above, or a little below Lopez’s level to build a starting lineup.  Players in this range will easily cost $15-$25 million, so the Nets need to be sure that they do not overspend and lack money next summer, in the event they are successful.

 

The main issue, with all of these pieces: unless you grab 2-3 of them (and even then), you will not contend, but will load your books. Is that the way to build a team? Sure, this free agency period is the one that coincides with Nets cap space, but it is also lukewarm: why settle?  As a note, Andre Drummond would make this section on merit, but as he is going nowhere as a restricted free agent squarely in Detroit’s plans, he is listed in a different tier.

 

1) DeMar DeRozan: A very good NBA two guard.  Unfortunately for the Nets ESPN has reported that he is intent on solely negotiating a new deal with Toronto.  While he shoots too many midrange jumpers, he cut back on them this year and was the second best player on a 56 win team.

 

2) Al Horford: Horford is extremely versatile and has been a major component of the Hawks’ success.  He is also small enough (and well suited) to play the 4 next to Lopez.  While he is 30, he is not athleticism reliant and should produce over a four year deal.

 

3) Mike Conley: It will be tough to get Conley, but the Nets should try, IF they are trying to win in the immediate term.  In any sport, the ability to guard or stop what players or teams do best is valuable; Conley is a tremendous defender of fellow point guards.  The comparisons to Deron Williams merely given their age at the time of potential Net signings is a lazy one: Conley is a hard working player who has improved, not regressed, over the last several years.  He is not athleticism reliant, and should be extremely productive over a four year deal.

 

4) Hassan Whiteside: he was tremendous for the Heat when: a) they went small, b) they featured him in the pick and roll, and c) they had veterans reign him in and keep in line.  Those factors conspired to make him an excellent offensive weapon in the pick and roll.  However, he struggled when Miami played bigger lineups, and his defense is vastly overrated due to the aesthestic beauty of shot blocking.  The Heat were no worse defensively when he sat, and he is often out of position, failing to do the less fancy things that truly make defenders great.  The Nets should not add Whiteside unless they trade Lopez, and are able to surround him with the specific type of personnel he thrived with in Miami.  This scenario feels unlikely for Brooklyn.

 

 

TIER 3: SOLID NBA STARTERS

 

1) Nicolas Batum: Batum would be a strong addition to the Nets given the stark need for wings on the roster, and in general for bigger wings that can guard multiple positions.  Still, while productive for Charlotte, Batum is only an above average three point shooter, and how well his game ages may be an issue going forward.

 

2) Allen Crabbe: Crabbe broke out this year as a key piece with the Blazers.  He can shoot the three extremely well, and is going to turn just 24 this year.  He would be an excellent addition to Brooklyn.  As he is a restricted free agent, Portland can match any offer while tying the Nets cap space up as the offer pends, which complicates his free agency.

 

3) Chandler Parsons: It is hard to gauge where Parsons fits in the free agency picture given his injuries, but he is very productive when healthy.  He began playing very well last year after his injury.  Parsons would be a good addition in Brooklyn if the goal is to win immediately.

 

4) Bradley Beal:  While Beal is not the star some believe, he can shoot the lights out, and is a good, quality NBA player who can be a critical part of a contender.  The Wizards likely match all offers as he is restricted. His injury history, and the fact that he is not a star, both have to compromise his value as well.

 

5) Kent Bazemore: Bazemore became a productive replacement for DeMarre Carroll in the starting lineup this year in Atlanta.  Bazemore is not a core level piece, but can be a nice starter around core pieces.  He is an above average shooter and good defender on the other end.

 

6) Pau Gasol: Gasol has always been extremely solid.  He is unlikely to come to Brooklyn; the odds are he will join a contender this summer.  Even if he did come, it would not make sense absent a significant summer for the Nets wherein they added multiple high level pieces. Otherwise, he will not fit the age profile of the core.

 

7) Evan Fournier: Fournier is just 23 years old, has improved each year in the league, and shoots the three very well.  He is also a productive wing: a position which is both critical to success and low on talent.  He is a perfect free agent for the Nets.  While restricted, and while Orlando is trying to win, they seem intent on some big roster plans; perhaps Fournier is not part of them.

 

8) Harrison Barnes: The Nets need be careful here.  Barnes can shoot, and can exploit mismatches.  But he is not a playmaker for others, not a go to option, and not a player with star potential based upon his first four years.  He is poised, given he is restricted and played for a 73-9 team, to be overpaid.

 

9) Dwight Howard: Howard is significantly diminished from what he was.  After all that has happened with him and the Nets, and his decline, there is no reason for Nets interest.  Howard sincerely matured after his shenanigan like antics in Orlando and LA, but then his game declined, so it was for naught.

 

10) Bismack Biyombo: Biyombo emerged as an elite rim protector who the Raptors will be desperate to keep.  He only makes sense if the Nets both dealt Lopez and still sought to win in the present.  Biyombo is also an example of why the Nets need to look HARD at under the radar free agents.  Players like Biyombo (and Bazemore) can be had cheap before they become what they are now, if you can find them. Toronto did that. Someone else (or maybe Toronto) will now  overpay.

 

11) Jordan Clarkson: The Lakers will likely match any offers, and Clarkson, while talented, is not as valuable as some believe: despite being young and scoring the ball well, he has an extremely low assist rate and appears to be more of a small combo guard than a true point guard. The Nets can look to add him as a shooting guard, or first guard off the bench, but he cannot be a full time starting point unless he improves.

 

12) Luol Deng: As he ages, his per 36 numbers are in decline.  He also will likely stay in Miami or latch on with a contender.  He did thrive as a small ball four, so one wonders if that is the position he should play going forward, if you want ideal results.

 

 

TIER 4: SOLID RESERVES, OR LOW END STARTERS ON CERTAIN CONTENDERS

 

1) Jeremy Lin: It’s said that all Lin analysis seemingly boils down to his nationality, both among fans and detractors.  Strip that away, and what you have as a solid, above average point guard.  Lin thrives as a combo guard in the pick and roll, off the bench, who provides a spark, can finish games when he is on, and decently guards his position.  He is only an average range shooter, but he has value and will help a team.

 

2) Shawn Livingston: Warriors have a team option.  Absent the Durant possibility they’d be a lock to exercise it.

 

3) Courtney Lee: Lee may be disliked by Nets fans because he struggled in New Jersey after being acquired for Vince Carter, but players change.  Lee has evolved into a fine shooting guard whose impact on the Hornets after the deadline was palpable.  The Hornets added Belinelli, which some saw as an attempt to replace Lee cheaply.  Lee will be 31 next year, so he may be older, but if he comes at a nice price, should produce on a multiyear deal.

 

4) Joe Johnson: We all know what Johnson provides.  I do not expect him back in a Brooklyn uniform.  Best of luck, Joe.

 

5) Marvin Williams: Williams is often viewed in the prism of his being a draft day bust given the point guards drafted after him. But he is a solid rotation player and strong shooter.  Still, he may be too old for the Nets timeline

 

6) J.R. Smith: Smith was very good for the Cavaliers all playoffs, which is notable.  However, Smith performed well in Cleveland because they provided structure, and frontline stars he respected which led to less shot taking.  He would not fit nearly as well in Brooklyn.

 

7) Joakim Noah: Noah’s decline since 2013 has been swift and substantial.  He was barely an on court positive last year, and with many miles on his tires, it may be hard to reverse this trend.  Noah has present day value but should not be a target in Brooklyn.  He can help an elite team as a passer up front.

 

8) Ryan Anderson: Anderson is clearly a strong shooter at the 4.  But his being a former Net and popular love of the 3 conspire to overrate him.  He struggles defensively, and if you thought Brook-Thad front lines were bad defensively, you will not like this tandem.

 

9) Dion Waiters: Waiters gets a bad rap, but produced for Oklahoma City all year long.  He may be a goner given the Oladipo trade.  Waiters per 36 numbers do not impress and he is only a mediocre outside shooter.

 

10) Rajon Rondo: Rondo has always been overrated.  He does not shoot as well as the league’s best point guards and does not make you trail him over pick and roll screens.  His defense has slipped in recent years.  The Celtics improved when he was hurt and then traded, the Mavericks were a team he quit on, and he did not help the Kings.  Despite high assist numbers, Rondo often gets them because, rather than facilitate the ball movement that breeds efficient offenses, he holds the ball to try to secure assists for himself to the detriment of the flow.

 

11) Festus Ezeli: A restricted free agent but perhaps the Warriors let him go. His finals struggles aside, he did have a significant midseason knee injury.  A good defender who can pass reasonably well and play competent offense.  He was sincerely solid pre injury. However, he is poised to be overpaid.

 

12) Al Jefferson: Jefferson has always been a nice back to the basket big, but he severely declined last season as injuries besiege his career, and cannot pair with Lopez.

 

13) Jared Sullinger: Sullinger is a piece that would fit the Nets given his age and strong rebounding ability.  However, he is not a good shooter, only average defensively, and how expendable the Celtics seem to view him should be a clue.  Couple that with his likely expectation of $13-$15 million per season, and I would pass.

 

14) Lance Stephenson:  It is hard to rank Stephenson.  On one hand, he has three teams could not wait to dump him since 2014.  On the other, he seriously rebounded in Memphis: Stephenson has plenty of weaknesses because he cannot shoot, but he can attack the basket.  Memphis has a team option they seem likely to exercise.

 

15) Zaza Pachulia: On one hand, Pachulia was quietly very good this year rebounding, playing defense, and even scoring at times.  He also may make less than other equally valuable players, which is a huge positive.  However, his age profile suggests he may start declining.

 

16) Timofey Mozgov: Mozgov was looking at a payday before losing his way this year with his conditioning and then his role. He can be a strong center if he gets to play, but will likely command more money than what Brooklyn should pay.

 

17) Brandon Jennings: Jennings tore his Achilles and, frankly, was not good before he tore it.  He is inefficient offensively, has never shown he can run an efficient offense, and does not shoot the 3 consistently. There is a reason multiple teams keep moving on from his services. He is more of a sixth man than a starter.

 

18) Jared Dudley: Dudley is a little old for the Nets as he turns 31 on July 10.  However, he is quietly a solid piece the Nets can use.  He can shoot; which many Nets wings cannot do.  His game largely has not declined and can hold steady over a 3 year deal. And he can mentor younger players.

 

19) Eric Gordon: He is plainly unable to stay healthy, and frankly offers little but range shooting.  He will be overpaid based upon his name and perceived potential but he is already an eight year vet. I’d pass. Gordon is solid when he plays but just does not play enough.

 

20) Matthew Dellavedova:  There is a lot to like with Delly as a bench piece.  He is just 25.  The perception is that he benefitted from LeBron, so he may not get dramatically overpaid.  He averaged a legitimate 11 and 6.5 per 36 minutes last year.  He has consistently shot the 3 well.  He is a playmaker in the pick and roll.  He’s tough, and determined.  Delly may decide to leave Cleveland for a paycheck and the Nets should look into it.

 

21) Tyler Johnson: Johnson is the type of piece the Nets need to review for their bench. He is just 23.  He improved in his second year.  His three point shooting remained consistent, and good. He fit the Heat small lineups well.  Miami may be too focused on big fish to retain Johnson.

 


TIER 5: ROTATION/BENCH PLAYERS

 

There is much talk around the Nets centered around big free agents.  And sure, they need starters.  But beyond Brook Lopez, Bojan Bogdanovic is no better than a seventh man at the moment absent improvement…but he’s the team’s second best player.  The Nets also need a bench.  The bench should include veterans that can contribute, but the Nets are starved for young talent: the most critical addition they can make to their bench is in the way of young pieces.  The Nets need to add young bench players with growth potential, and hope they can develop them into something more. So, between youth and veterans, who is out there?
1) Tyler Zeller:  While he is restricted, Boston may not match as they try to take the next step.  Zeller can quietly be a solid NBA player; while his minutes decreased this year his per 36 numbers did not.  Zeller is a solid defender and has thrived in limited minutes.

 

2) PJ Tucker: A nice defensive wing for Phoenix.  He lacks the true two way value some wings have but he can guard, and you can never have enough defensive versatility.

 

3) Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi has always been a fine reserve big.  He is pushing 30, but is a useful defender and rebounder off the bench.

 

4) Evan Turner: Boston may let him go as they hope to upgrade the roster.  Turner was useful as a sixth man but his reputation and draft status still causes him to be overrated.  Takes too many shots, and does not make those around him better.  And at some point you cannot project a player on potential; he is six years into his career and has had plenty of opportunity.  I would let someone else overpay.

 

5) Terrence Jones: Jones is a restricted free agent the Rockets may elect to let go.  He had a down season, dramatically so. However, that means he may come cheap.  If he is available at a nice price tag (I would not go over $8 million given his dramatically down year), Brooklyn would be getting a 24 year old who in his past displayed legitimate skills.  Spend too much and he can be an albatross, but a make good deal could be useful here, gambling that he was a victim of the Rockets moroseness.

 

6) Donatas Motiejunas: Motiejunas is still injured.  In large part that is all you need to know. As with Jones, it is worth seeing if he can be had very cheaply, but the Nets need to be cautious.

 

7) Jamal Crawford: He does little other than shoot from range, and has become overrated because his game is aesthetically pleasing.  His defense is not there, he takes bad shots, and he cannot finish a game with a starting unit.  Dudley provides much of Crawford’s value and will come cheaper.

 

8) Arron Afflalo: The Knicks do not want him for a reason.  He stopped guarding despite thriving on that end early in his career, and is only mediocre offensively.  Not an intriguing piece.

 

9) Andrew Nicholson:  He had a career year for the Magic, but is behind several of their young players in the pecking order as a restricted free agent.  His three point shooting developed, and he can score and rebound off a bench.

 

10) Dwight Powell: Powell was extremely useful for the Mavericks this season, providing huge impact minutes for a playoff team.  He was benched for David Lee, but coaches often see veterans as crutches.  It is worth seeing if Powell can build on his fine year as a reserve, to see if he can become a regular rotation piece.

 

11) Lance Thomas: Thomas is a little older at 27, but is the type of acquisition the Nets need to look into.  He shot a career high from 3 and one wonders if its sustainable, but he played good defense and hit the outside shot.  He can be a contributor.

 

12) Langston Galloway: Still a nice piece at just 24, although he backslid a touch this year.  However, in some ways, adding a piece like Galloway should not be a goal.  The Nets should strive to find players like Galloway before they get paid, rather than paying players like Galloway.

 

13) Maurice Harkless: Harkless is intriguing at just 22, but he has yet to convert potential into actual over a four year career, struggles shooting the ball, and struggled under Jacque Vaughn in Orlando.  Was his modest Portland success meaningful? Or was it due to Lillard? He is worth a look because of his success, but not at excessive dollars.

 

14) Meyers Leonard: Leonard, like Harkless, also had a nice year in Portland.  He can shoot as a big, and was a useful component on a playoff team despite being so young. The Nets should take a look at Leonard as well.

 

15) Nene: Starting to seriously decline.  Simply not the type of piece the Nets need to look at.

 

16) Cole Aldrich: Aldrich is an underrated reserve center who was extremely useful in Los Angeles.  Does the little things a team needs.  Absent a worth it young prospect, he is certainly worth a look up front.

 

17) Mirza Teletovic: Quietly, after a productive second season and good start to year three before injuries, Teletovic built on that and posted a career year.  He was very useful in Phoenix, more so than in Brooklyn.  He can really shoot it.  On the wrong side of thirty, however  Unless the Nets build a contender, he does not fit the desired roster age profile.

 

18) Solomon Hill: I would tread cautiously here.  Hill somewhat regressed in year 3 and Larry Bird gave up on him.  Yes, he thrived in the playoffs, but that is a small 7 game sample: 169 games of not meeting expectations should be more telling. He figures to be overpaid.

 

19) Darrell Arthur: Arthur has decent skills off a bench.  He is however too close to 30 and too experienced to be seen as having much upside, but at small dollars the Nets should consider him.

 

20) Derrick Williams: Easy to forget he is just 24.  He finally became useful this year for the Knicks.  Imperfect, but he can score off your bench.

 

21) Leandro Barbosa: Barbosa is still a useful reserve who can fill it up.  He will not likely go to a losing team (at the moment) like Brooklyn.

 

22) Kris Humphries: Quietly improved this year as a scorer, even shooting the 3, albeit at a subpar clip.  Likely too old in light of the Nets’ needs.

 

23) Amare Stoudemire: Amare can still score.  He cannot guard, but he can score off a bench.  However, he is too old for what the Nets need. They should pass.

 

24) Trevor Booker: Booker has always been a decent big but never stepped beyond that.  He is unlikely to improve at this point. He’d help the Net bench but there are better options for them.

 

25) Jeff Green: It’s always nicer on someone else’s plate.  Green has a bad history of seeing teams improve when he leaves and regress when he arrives.  He has never shown how he fits onto a good NBA roster.  He struggles to shoot or play the 3 and is too small at the 4: the rare “tweener” in the modern game.

 

26) Roy Hibbert: It is sad to see what Hibbert has become.  He let the yips in 2014 affect him and developed a mental block to success. The Nets do not need him around.

 

27) Jordan Hill: A mediocre big who is what he is at this point.  Useful, but nothing to write home about down here.

 

28) Richard Jefferson: Clearly still useful to a contender.  Do not see him coming to Brooklyn unless the roster quickly reloads.

 

29) Gerald Henderson: Henderson is the definition of average.  He is not a piece I would expect Brooklyn to target, absent for veteran leadership purposes.

 

30) Marreese Speights: The prototypical free agent to be careful with.  He takes inefficient long two’s and is subpar defensively.  His reputation clearly gets a boost from the team he played for.  I would pass.

 

31) Ramon Sessions: Sessions is a decent journeyman playmaker.  He would help the Nets if they build a contender and need a bench piece at point.  Otherwise, he is a dime a dozen and not needed in a rebuild.

 

32) James Johnson: Johnson was a nice defender in Toronto but does little else and was always dissatisfied with his role. He is worth a look as a relatively young defender, but will he be satisfied?

 

33) Randy Foye: He did not do all that much in Denver this year, and was a fair but underwhelming contributor in OKC.  He is not the type of piece the Nets need.

 

34) Greivis Vasquez: Vasquez caught lightning in a bottle in 2014, but is not a good piece and is pushing 30.  A make good offer as a cheap reserve would not hurt, but I would pass.

 

35) DJ Augustin: Augustin has had an up and down career running teams.  Some years, he has been a nice reserve guard.  In others, near unplayable.  He is a decent reserve piece, but should not be a priority.

 

36) David West: After he left all that money behind to be a Spur, to expect him to become a Net is essentially a hopeless endeavor.

 

37) Deron Williams: I did it. I found a free agent less likely to sign with Brooklyn than Durant.

 

38) Ty Lawson: Lawson is overrated on the nostalgia of what he was and could have been.  His per 36 numbers are abysmal, a bad sign as he pushes 30.  He has never been a great shooter, and if his quickness is going, that spells bad news.

 
TIER 6: SPECULATIVE YOUNG PIECES

 

By no means are any of these players guys that the Nets should bring in in the hope that they start.  For that matter, this tier of the list contains players the Nets cannot even count on to come off their bench.  The Nets are starved for youth with upside, and need do leave no stone unturned in developing their roster.  That building includes identifying young free agents who are either low end or are not rotation players, and attempting to develop them into better players.  None of these players should be brought in and expected to contribute, but should be looked at to be brought with the HOPE that they evolve from bit players into rotation players. So, who can the Nets develop, and who should the Nets give a strong look this summer to add on the cheap?

 

1) Tim Frazier: Frazier was extremely solid for the Pelicans after being added as a 10 day.  He is a restricted free agent but perhaps the Pelicans bite.

 

2) James Michael McAdoo:  A member of the near champion Warriors, who like him very much and even played him in meaningful finals minutes, where he produced. The Warriors have too many priorities this summer to focus on McAdoo.

 

3) Robert Covington: A useful player in Philly.  If the Colangelo’s disregard him and do not guarantee his small deal he could be on the market.

 

3) Troy Daniels: This is an option the Nets should look at closely.  Daniels is just 24.  He has gotten sparing playing time, but his per 36 scoring and three point shooting numbers are excellent. Daniels would be a useful backcourt addition.  He is restricted but the Hornets have salary issues.

 

4) Boban Marjanovic: He was 27 years old as a rookie, but his per 36 numbers were strong and he figures to be a useful NBA player when he gets minutes.

 

5) E’Twaun Moore: Another free agent that warrants a look.  He is just 24, and has shown, over a somewhat reasonable sample, that he can shoot and can defend reasonably well.  He’s played legitimate minutes for competitive Chicago teams.  He can be had and the Nets would be wise to take a look.

 

6) James Ennis: Another Pelicans restricted free agent who thrived with New Orleans late in the year.  He is a nice athlete that would not hurt.

 

7) Jon Leuer: A big who is just 26 years old and shot the 3 well this year, albeit after shooting it poorly in the past.  Could be useful off the bench.

 

8) Austin Rivers: Not a piece the Nets should look at, as he will get paid on reputation (he was a high draft choice) and name.  He is likely to get overpaid to stay with his dad.

 

9) Dewayne Dedmon: A Magic restricted free agent. Dedmon is a decent defender who rebounds extremely well.  The Magic seem to have big free agent plans; he is not Plan A, B, or C there.

 

10) Tarik Black: A Lakers restricted free agent they may balk on.  In spot minutes, Black has shown he has one very good skill: his rebounding.  He is worth a later bench look.

 

11) Seth Curry: Just because his brother is Steph, does not mean that he is undeserving of his status in the league.  Curry is a very good shooter who thrived in Sacramento in the second half of the season.  He has a player option but may easily opt out.

 

 

12) Hollis Thompson: A spot up shooter who has not displayed any other skill.  Still, a spot up shooter can have value given the league wide trend of going small. Sixers have a team option but he is not a priority there.

 

13) Ish Smith: Smith cannot shoot and is closer to 30 than I would like, but he ran the Sixers well upon acquisition.

 

14) PJ Hairston: A young wing teams have given up on, who did not impress in Memphis.  Would be a real flier, but the Nets need to take a few chances.

 

15) Jordan McRae: He barely played as a rookie, but in small samples showed the ability to shoot and score. The Cavaliers have a team option but he is clearly not their priority this summer.

 

16) Christian Wood: Played limited minutes for the Sixers, but showed he can rebound and block shots.  He is just 20; maybe he can do more.

 

17) Miles Plumlee: Plumlee is a decent young big, but is not nearly as accomplished as Mason.  He can be useful as a bruiser but does not offer much else.

 

18) Mike Muscala: A young big who is running out of chances and does not shoot the ball well when he is supposedly a shooter. Atkinson had him in Atlanta and perhaps he believes.  Hawks do have a team option.

 

19) Damjan Rudez: Rudez shot the ball well as a rookie but downslided last year.  He is pushing 30, so he barely qualifies for this list, but maybe he will thrive in a more diverse city, as an international player. I would not bet on it.

 

TIER 7: NOT GOING ANYWHERE DIVISION

 

            Some free agents are talented, but are free agents in name only, be it because they will not leave their franchise (LeBron James), they are hedging between retirement and staying put (Manu Ginobili), or their team will not let them go in restricted free agency (Andre Drummond). In the under 5% chance any of these guys do defect from their current team, they will not go to Brooklyn.  Here is that list, alphabetically:

 

-Andre Drummond; Manu Ginobili; LeBron James; Dirk Nowitzki; Dwyane Wade

 

TIER 8: VETERAN LEADERSHIP DIVISION

 

            However successful the Nets are in free agency, they will likely have a roster replete with young players.  Young players need veteran support on the roster.  The support helps them grow as professionals, because veteran leaders on the roster can connect with players, and help show them the ropes as peers, in the way older coaches and management simply cannot.  Some of these players have some productivity left in them, but in light of where the Nets are in their rebuild, they would not be here for that purpose. Here are some of the league’s veteran free agents, listed alphabetically: obtaining a piece or two would not hurt Brooklyn.

 

-Brandon Bass, Steve Blake, Matt Bonner, Elton Brand, Aaron Brooks, Udonis Haslem, Kirk Hinrich, James Jones, Chris Kaman, David Lee, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Andre Miller, Mike Miller, Nazr Mohammed, Pablo Prigioni, Kendrick Perkins, Tayshaun Prince, Luis Scola, Jason Terry, Anderson Varejao

 

TIER 9: THE REST

 

            Unfortunately, not all NBA players can be valuable.  Some players are stars.  Some have potential.  Some just fill a roster, and do not have value to a team in a rebuild.  Some of these players can produce, and can produce for good teams, in minimal bench minutes.  But they offer the rebuilding Nets little. Below is that list of these players, listed alphabetically.

 

-Quincy Acy, Louis Amundson, Alan Anderson (sadly), Chris Anderson, Jeff Ayres, Matt Barnes, Chase Budinger, Isiah Canaan, Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, Bryce Cotton, Cleanthony Early, Jordan Farmar, Raymond Felton, Alonzo Gee, Gerald Green, Jorge Gutierrez, Jordan Hamilton, Tyler Hansbrough, JJ Hickson, Marcelo Huertas, Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, Kevin Martin, OJ Mayo, Eric Moreland, Xavier Munford, Steve Novak, Ronnie Price, Brian Roberts, Brandon Rush, Robert Sacre, Kevin Seraphin, Jason Smith, Josh Smith, Garrett Temple, Jason Thompson, Marcus Thornton, Anthony Tolliver, Charlie Villanueva, Sasha Vujacic, Metta World Peace, Dorell Wright

 

 

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