The Brooklyn Nets had the worst record in the NBA last season. However, starting point guard Jeremy Lin thinks his team can shock the world.
Lin went “live” on Instagram over the weekend and spoke about his lofty expectations for next season (via CBS Sports):
“We’re making the playoffs. I don’t care what anybody else tells me.”
Last season, the Nets had the worst record in the NBA. Their draft pick, however, was traded to the Celtics in a deal agreed upon in 2013 – long before their recent shortcomings.
Next year, Boston always owns the rights to their draft pick. Some would speculate the Celtics, who finished No. 1 in the Eastern Conference in the 2016-17 season, will get another top pick in the 2018 draft
However, if Lin is correct, Brooklyn won’t have much to worry about when it comes to losing their pick to the Celtics once again. This is what their roster will look like next season:
BACKCOURT — Jeremy Lin, D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, Archie Goodwin, Isaiah Whitehead
FRONTCOURT — Caris LeVert, DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Andrew Nicholson
BIGS — Timofey Mozgov, Jarrett Allen, Trevor Booker, Quincy Acy
This team was built through the front office’s willingness to take on large contracts (like Mozgov) for top talent (like Russell) moving forward.
By doing such, Nets general manager Sean Marks has created one of the more exciting young teams in the league (via The Ringer):
Sean Marks has flipped the script entirely, carving a future out of the abyss by taking a longer view. He’s shepherding, in my opinion, one of the most interesting teams in the league. True to their strategy, in proving that there is no such thing as an untradeable contract, the Nets are also proving that there is no such thing as an unsavable team.
Three teams who made the Eastern Conference postseason last year (Hawks, Bulls, Pacers) have taken huge steps back during the offseason.
If players on the Nets like Russell and LeVert make improvements next year, Brooklyn could surprise some folks with a better record than expected. While they still may not be a playoff-bound team, they’re in an interesting situation.
This isn’t the same team that has failed to succeed over the past few seasons. With a new core, we don’t yet know what the reinvented Nets are capable of achieving during the 2017-18 season.