When the most interesting thing that happened to the Brooklyn Nets during their current losing streak (7 in a row) is Dwight Howard not shaking hands with Jeremy Lin as a joke, there’s something very wrong with the franchise.
The most problematic thing right now is the lack of talent. We predicted before the season that the Nets would win 30 games. Even with Lin coming back soon (hopefully), it’s difficult to see this team winning almost half of their remaining games to make us look like smart people. We did say that this is a season of test driving a new car, and seeing which parts are going to stay and which are going to be thrown away.
Besides Lin and Lopez, the only other players you can feel like the Nets are happy to have moving forward are Sean Kilpatrick (frustratingly inconsistent) and Caris LeVert (rookie, started season late, lots of potential). As far as the rest are concerned, it’s hard to look at the list and see someone the Nets are happy with being on the team next season.
One of the thing the current state of the Nets tells us is how badly the previous management f***ed this franchise. Their reckless gamble to win now with aging players didn’t just fall short (by a lot) and cost a whole lot of money. It sidelined the team’s ability to add young talent through the draft for years to come. The Nets have plenty of cap space to work with, but this team isn’t missing just two or three good players from contending. There are very few players on this roster the Nets can see themselves moving forward with. I’ve changed my mind about Kenny Atkinson during this season a number of time.s While I do think he could have done better when it comes to rotations and minute allocations, he really doesn’t have a lot to work with, especially when Lin is out. He and Marks have A LOT of work to do.
And while Lin is making headlines with Dwight Howard, he’s also appearing in a nice new commercial for the Chinese New Year. Think about it: Lin has played only 12 games this season, but the NBA is using him, alongside Anthony Davis, James Harden and Stephen Curry to market the league in China. It’s a shame Lin has missed 25 games and counting so far this season, but the Nets have a star in him, on (hopefully it’ll show at some point for more than a fleeting moment) and off of it.