As we prepare for the 2016-17 Fantasy Basketball Season, I’ll be taking a look at each NBA team with their major adds and drops to see if we can pan for any surprise rotational gold. This open is especially witty for the Nuggets. We’ll be counting down from worst NBA regular season to the best, mainly because I’m still figuring out how to rank the Warriors…
Brooklyn Nets (21-61)
F Trevor Booker
G Greivis Vasquez
F Luis Scola
F Anthony Bennett
G Randy Foye
G Chris LeVert (Rookie)
C Justin Hamilton
G Isaiah Whitehead (Rookie)
G/F Joe Johnson
G Jarrett Jack (wahhhhhh!)
G Shane Larkin
The Fountain of Youth
Ewwwwww, the Nets. I still can’t fathom how anyone could be a fan of this team. It just exudes boredom. Nothing exemplifies this better than what they did at PF, but we’ll get there.
While you’d expect a team this bad to overhaul they A) traded all their picks in that horrific Celtics deal and B) gave big contracts to Brook Lopez and Thad Young last year, apparently happy to stay in the status quo. If there was ever a team that looked stuck in the mud, it would be this one. Get ready to start yawning!
PG – Ugghhhh, just looking at their add/drops, they cut the entirety of their meh PG depth for even meh-er guys. Hah, I keed a little, I actually think Lin could be a little bit of a surprise. He was 17.5/4.0/4.8/0.2/0.4 as a starter in 13 games last year, with 1.8 treys. Those anemic steals are annoying, but “only” 2.5 TO in that run is pretty impressive given some of his TO issues earlier in his career. With the Nets horrid lack of playmaking besides BroLo in the post, I don’t think it’s outlandish to see a similar line starting with the Nets, with the AST closer to 6 and a steal/per. The Twerp Greivis Vasquez figures to play the primary backup minutes, yawn, then as the commenters brought to my attention, keep an eye on Isaiah Whitehead. He’s likely spending a lot of time in the D-League and was very meh in Summer Ball, but he did average 1.4 blocks with 6.3 AST as a soph at Seton Hall, which is always a fun blend of stats. That said, shot 37.9% on 18.7 shots. Yikes.
SG – We’re still a good bit out from the season, but I’m wondering if there will be sleeper buzz for RHJ. In his rookie campaign, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had a run of 7.6/7.7/1.6/1.9 50% FG before breaking his ankle, and had a few flashes in low MPG to end the season as well. He’s definitely a Liam Neeson. Very particular and unique set of skills, with STL/REB/FG% from a wing. He averaged 6.6 boards and an Ocean’s Eleven-esque 3.2 steals in 5 Summer League games, so it looks legit from RHJ in those cats. That said, he’s more a roster-filler than upside-gamble, so I still don’t see him cracking the top-100.
Behind RHJ is in there interesting flier the Nets took on Chris LeVert. He’s recovering from a Jones fracture, but as the Nets lose 9 of every 10 games, could be brought along with more and more minutes to see what they have. His stats make it seem like he’s a little ThrAGNOFfy, but he did get all the way up to 4.9 AST as a senior at Mittengan and shot 50.6% from the field, hitting 44.6% from deep. Our final roster filler is Randy Foye, who can play PG and SG, but I usually think of him as a SG. Blah.
SF – Look out for the BoBo! While typically an absolute ThrAGNOF, Bojan Bogdanovic did have a few stretches including a 21-game run in Feb-Mar of 16.0/3.2/1.9/0.2/0.0 with 2.5 treys hitting 49% overall. That had a 44 point game in there that skews it a tad, but the Nets need offense! They need ThrAGNOF!
Depending on how LeVert looks early on, it may push RHJ to the 3 and BoBo off the bench. Especially since their SF depth is pretty thin, with only Sean Kilpatrick capable there as well. Wow, Kilpatrick was awesome to end last year! How did I totally forget this?! 14.8/2.3/1.2/0.5/0.1 with 1.6 treys over the final 21 games. Ok, that’s not too great… Just the consistent scoring surprised me; he was in double-digits in 19 of those 21. He put up 19.2 Pts in Summer Ball, so if he ever got a consistent role, he could provide a little deep league scoring.
PF – With the position absa-fucking-lutely wide open, they spend $18 mil over two years on… Trevor Booker? Now, to be fair, this is less about Booker. But guess who was on the wire?! Terrence Motherfucker Jones! Ahhhhh, I’m got so mad I broke my F bomb filter I usually keep on for hoops. I’m THAT angry! Instead T Jones goes to the Pels for the vet minimum. Wow. Way to just overlook what could be a homerun signing. OK, I gotta get off this and talk about the actual team.
Booker could be OK here. In per-36 in the first half last year, he was about 10/12/2/2/1 with a very low TO rate and had flashed the ability to hit treys. If he’s penciled in as the starter late in the preseason, I could see throwing a last-round pick his way.
Behind Booker it’s a mess. Which actually isn’t that good for Booker, since they have several other options. Let’s start with who stayed on the team – Chris McCullough. Rumored to be a lottery pick talent, he tore his ACL and fell to the last first round in 2015. Man, just realized the Nets love drafting injured guys with their first round picks… Hah! McCollough is as cookie cutter stretch-4 as it gets. Shoots jumpers, 3s, and to the detriment of his FG%. In 24 games last year, he was 11.1/6.8/0.9/2.8/1.2 with 1.3 3PTM and only 1.5 TO in per-36. If he somehow took the starting role, I could see him being a surprise must-own.
Then just to cloud it even worse, they sign Luis Scola (ugh) and Anthony Bennett (wowzer!). At least one of these guys is never playing and another only sporadically in blowouts. Aherm, I guess that means every game for the Nets, amiright?!
C – It’s Brook Lopez and that’s all that really matters. Well, strike that a little. They did sign Justin Hamilton to “presumably” be the backup 5, and he’s had a few short spurts of fantasy goodness. In 2014-15 with the Wolves, when he got unleashed he had a 4-game run of 14.0/7.3/2.8/1.3/1.8 with 0.5 treys, hurt his hammy I believe, then wrapped up with a 10.3/5.4/1.3/1.3/1.9 line over the final 9 games shooting 55.2%. He played in Europe last year on a 1-year deal and had similar multi-cat lines. If something should happen to ol’ Clown Foot (sorry Las!) or if the Nets don’t bring in C depth in deadline trades and either deal BroLo or sit him late, Hamilton could be a factor.
JB’s 2016-17 Projection: 13-69
This team looks dreadful. I’m gonna go ahead and say the NBA’s worst.