The Brooklyn Nets have been aggressive in this offseason, with a new leadership, coach, and direction. They’ve added Jeremy Lin as the headliner of their free agency class, and now it’s about waiting to see what happens with their offer sheets to Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe, with the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers having a deadline to match or let their players join the Nets.
The Nets signed Johnson to a four-year, $50 million offer sheet (poison pill provision, which means backloaded contract) and are waiting to see the Miami Heat, a team with a pretty empty roster at this point, responding. And now, after a lot of rumors regarding their interest in Crabbe, they’ve signed the Blazers wingman to a four-year, $75 million offer sheet, with a potential bonus of making $83 million overall, including a fourth-year player option.
The Nets have signed Lin (three years, $36 million), Trevor Booker (two years, $18 million) and Justin Hamilton (two years, $6 million) in their rebuilding/retooling process, with Marks not being shy about wanting to go a different way than the Nets have in recent years. If Crabbe is signed he’ll be their most expensive player besides Lin, but at the center of this project is Lin, and putting in pieces that he can work with.
We’ve already been through what the Nets have right now in terms of players for the point guard to feed: Brook Lopez, a couple of strong finishers near the rim, a set of young wing players who aren’t that bad from three point range and very unproven backup point guards. Johnson is another wing player who can help spread the floor, who like Crabbe had a surge in production last season. Crabbe, also 24, played both shooting guard and small forward last season for the Blazers, averaging 10.3 points per game, playing in 81 games, mostly coming off the bench. He shot 39.3% from beyond the arc, taking 42% of his field goal attempts from that distance.
How the Nets’ lineup will look? With Crabbe/Johnson or without them, the Nets are going with Lopez and Lin as the heart of this team, with the lineup probably having a power forward that’s strong on the boards and near the rim while being able to keep up with a fast-paced offense, with two wing players who can run, defend and shoot, while the bench, from the looks of it right now, will mostly be able to help at the 1-2-3 positions, while the frontcourt looks a bit short on talent behind Lopez.
Not ideal, not knee deep in talent. But the Nets have been in cleaning-house kind of mode for a couple of years, maybe a bit more. Things were accelerated this offseason with a very clear look and direction in mind. The Nets need one of their offer sheets to come through (hopefully Crabbe, I’m not sold on Johnson) to put another building stone in place. This is not a one year renaissance for the Nets, but a bit longer. But Lin, along with the new/younger faces on this team, have the capability to put a pretty exciting product on the court, if everything goes according to plan.