Woj Bomb Season! After the Finals end, the stretch in the beginning of the summer with the Draft and Free Agency is one of the best times to be an NBA fan as suddenly there are 28 other teams who play in the NBA besides those in Cleveland and Golden State.
Especially with the way they played at the end of the season (11-13 in March/April) my outlook on the Nets future was not nearly as bad as most other’s outlooks. The way I saw it is that the Nets have hit rock bottom, and it really can only go up from here, and they became the first worst team in a league to actually be an enjoyable team to watch at the end of the year. The Celtics (now Sixers this year) will still own their great draft pick for the next two years, but trust me I know that by now and there’s nothing they can do at this point but try to get younger and get more picks.
However, this move adds so much to that good outlook. I absolutely love this move. Brook Lopez has been on the trading block for years, and as much as he will be missed, he was not going to be apart of the Nets future. This trade is one you make 100 times out of 100. If D’Angelo Russell turns out to be an absolute bust or gets injured, you still are only giving up a guy who wasn’t going to be on the team past next season, and a late first round draft pick.
But I’m not going to look at it that way. I am going to look at like this: THE BROOKLYN NETS JUST ACQUIRED THE SECOND OVERALL PICK FROM 2 YEARS AGO!!! Everyone is quick to judge a young guy who gets traded by saying he’s not that good. Not that good? The guy is only a few months older than me, and has averaged 13.2 and 15.6 PPG in his first two years, respectively. I’m not saying he’s a lock to be an All-NBA player for years to come based on his first two seasons, but he has a legitimate chance to be a star. I’m already getting a bit ahead of myself and dreaming of Russell putting up games like he did against the Nets as a rookie.
This trade was also the best thing the Nets could have ever gotten for Lopez. The Nets were expecting to shop him to a contender who in return would give them their 2018 draft pick. Well, instead of getting a non-lottery pick, you now have a guy who is two years removed from being the second overall pick, only behind a guy in Karl-Anthony Towns who has already developed into one of the best bigs in the NBA. Also, while a player’s first two seasons don’t decide any athlete’s future (for better or worse), every year one of the top picks in the draft just never turns out to be a great player. That’s just how sports work. So while Russell isn’t guaranteed to be a star, we have seen through his first two seasons that he will almost definitely be at the very least a solid NBA player. Most fans and others around the league expect Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and Josh Jackson to all be stars. Rightfully so. However, this simply is just not guaranteed. So while the Nets do not have their own draft pick this year or next, they have acquired a former top talent who has proven he has potential to be great, which is something these draft prospects have not done yet.
I’m really starting to like the moves that have been made since Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson took over the Nets franchise. They’ve used great trade chips in Thaddeus Young, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Brook Lopez, to acquire a first round pick (Caris LeVert, who showed great signs as a rookie, both in play and in health), another first rounder (22nd this year), and D’Angelo Russell. I trust Sean Marks in any deal he makes with Magic Johnson, who made one of his first big moves since taking over the Lakers.
(Jimmer is currently tearing it up- in China)
(MCW has been on 3 teams in 4 seasons)
(No Magic, stick to your instinct, the Cavs went on to sweep the Hawks in the ECF that season)
(Better safe than sorry, right?)
(I don’t even know how to react to this one)
P.S. Had to give a shoutout to Brook Lopez. This past season, he became the franchise’s all time leading scorer. He was also the last current Net to have played in New Jersey. The guy has been rumored to be traded for years, and has played for a lot of bad, and I mean BAD Nets teams. Yet, his loyalty to this franchise and this fan base could not be greater. He built a great relationship with the young guys this past season, and you can only hope those guys picked up a lot from a classy veteran like him. He will truly be missed on and off the court by this entire organization.
Brook loved nothing more than post win interviews with Sarah (then again, how could one not?).
P. P. S. All ties have officially been cut.