Now with this trade, I'm not sure if the Nets are heading in the right direction anymore.
I'm a big believer of building through the draft and using free agency to supplement your core players. To me this is a conservative style in building a team, and it allows a team to have financial freedom up until the point when you have to resign your core pieces. As well as allows you to evaluate your core players for a few seasons to see if they can be the type of franchise players needed to build a team around.
Today (June 20, 2017) the team traded D'Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in this year's draft. I essentially view this trade as Russell for Lopez and Mozgov for the 27th pick.
As a New Yorker I had seen Mozgov play since his days with the Knicks. I must confess I think Mozgov, in spite of his line of 7 points ad 5 rebounds for the season at 20 minutes per game, is a much better player than one would think. He can shoot free throws. He is a space eater in the middle. And, he can be a defensive presence in the middle (something Brook Lopez was not). So in my opinion, Mozgov for the 27th pick in this year's draft is not that bad of a deal.
Now the swap for Lopez for D'Angelo Russell is interesting, but in my opinion I don't think it was a particularly good one. As of now, Russell's numbers (16/5/4) are almost identical to that of Jeremy Lin's (15/5/4). Their play style is not much different and the only benefit to Russell over Lin is defense because Jeremy cannot stay in front of anyone. He is probably one of the worst perimeter defenders in the association.
Furthermore, now this trade gives them two starting point guards.
That all aside, the biggest problem with this trade is the potential that is lost. I agree that Brook Lopez could be traded since they can't win with him. However, he has become a great stretch 5 (Under Atkinson), great free throw shooter, and is a legit 20 points per game. If they were going to trade him, they should have went for a stretch 4, and a 3D small forward.
The duplicity of Russell and Lin, and now the void of Lopez I believe creates more issues than solutions.
The only way I can see the team balancing out is if they get a player like Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, or Danilo Gallinari as a free agent.
What are your thoughts? Do you think this was a good deal for the Nets?
Thanks for reading and please subscribe for future posts!!