Among the Nets' many, many problems last year was terrible long-range shooting. Only three teams had more attempts from beyond the arc, and only four had worse three-point accuracy than Brooklyn's 33.8%.
So over the summer, GM Sean Marks acquired Allen Crabbe from the Blazers, who were happy to unload the remaining three years and $56.3 million of his contract. (Crabbe got such a rich deal because the Nets signed him to an offer sheet in the summer of 2016 and Portland matched it). Crabbe hit 44.4% of his threes last year, a figure topped only by Kyle Korver.
Marks also swung a deal with the Lakers for D'Angelo Russell, who immediately becomes the most intriguing player on the roster. He shoots well from three (35.2% last season) and he's athletic enough to be productive in the paint. Russell struggled in Los Angeles for a variety of reasons—the Kobe cloud in Year 1, a baffling roster in Year 2—but he's still just 21, with skills that made him the No. 2 pick in the 2015 draft.
As a former member of the Spurs' brain trust, Marks knows the value of outside shooting. Now his team has some quality marksmen to justify the quantity.
COACH KENNY ATKINSON
(2nd season with Nets)
2016--17 RECORD 20--62
(5th in Atlantic)
PG JEREMY LIN
14.5 PPG; 5.1 APG; 43.8 FG%; 37.2 3FG%
100 [THE CROSSOVER TOP 100 RANKING]
SG D'ANGELO RUSSELL [NEW ACQUISITION]
15.6 PPG; 4.8 APG; 40.5 FG%; 35.2 3FG%
SF ALLEN CRABBE [NEW ACQUISITION]
10.7 PPG; 2.9 RPG; 46.8 FG%; 44.4 3FG%
PF RONDAE HOLLIS-JEFFERSON
8.7 PPG; 5.8 RPG; 1.1 SPG; 43.4 FG%
C TIMOFEY MOZGOV [NEW ACQUISITION]
7.4 PPG; 4.9 RPG; 0.6 BPG; 51.5 FG%
SF DEMARRE CARROLL [NEW ACQUISITION]
8.9 PPG; 3.8 RPG; 40.0 FG%; 34.1 3FG%
SG CARIS LEVERT
8.2 PPG; 3.3 RPG; 45.0 FG%; 32.1 3FG%
PF TREVOR BOOKER
10.0 PPG; 8.0 RPG; 1.9 APG; 51.6 FG%
• THE CROSSOVER TOP 100 RANKING
A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP BROOKLYN
They've established a culture and an identity. They play hard, they shoot threes and play fast. They led the league in pace, and it's an aesthetically pleasing style. They just have to add pieces.... D'ANGELO RUSSELL can make pull-up threes off the dribble, and that's a valuable skill. He's also an accomplished pick-and-roll player. The mistake was thinking he's a point guard.... JEREMY LIN has been good for them. There could be an opportunity to flip him to a team that needs another shot creator for the playoffs.... I'm curious to see how they allocate playing to all their wings. Do they play some out of position to try to create some mismatches? That could happen.... How much of ALLEN CRABBE's success was based on the position he was in in Portland? Will he get as many open shots? How does he react when defenses are geared on stopping him? But take his money out of the picture, and he's turned himself into a pretty good role player.... Playing the four is RONDAE HOLLIS-JEFFERSON's only chance because of his shooting, but I wouldn't underestimate him. He can rebound and push and create a shot for someone in transition, and that's how they want to play.... TIMOFEY MOZGOV was the price to get Russell, but at least he's serviceable. He's a great guy, great teammate and he can protect the basket when necessary.... I thought DEMARRE CARROLL was a good risk too, another culture guy. He can shoot, play the three or four. [Acquiring him from the Raptors in a salary dump] was a no-risk thing and they got [Toronto's first-round] pick out of it.
TELLING 33.8 STATISTIC
Once again the Nets don't have their first-round pick, so they won't benefit from their misfortunes. There will be many.