After the Brooklyn Nets lost Jeremy Lin for the season due to a knee injury, the front office will likely consider some replacements.
While it’s unclear if D’Angelo Russell will switch to point guard or if Isaiah Whitehead will take over for Lin, there’s no question that this is a huge loss for the Nets. If they decide to make a roster move, they need to waive a player to clear space.
Lin had a high usage rate and assist rate with above average points per 100 shot attempts. According to Cleaning The Glass, where many of the stats used in this story were found, all were above the 70th percentile for players at his position last season.
It won’t be easy to replace his contributions for Brooklyn, but if the front office does decide to look outside their current roster, there are plenty of players available. Many already have ties to the organization.
Jameer Nelson, Point Guard
Why He Fits: Nelson started 40 games last season and played as a combo guard for the last three years, which means he could pair well with Russell. His effective field goal percentage and three-point percentage were both above the 80th percentile among all NBA combo guards. Brooklyn had the highest-paced games in the league during their 2016-17 campaign and his Denver Nuggets were a Top 10 team in pace. Nelson was just waived and can clear waivers on Friday.
Connection to the Nets: Nelson was with the Orlando Magic from 2012 until 2014, when Brooklyn assistant Jacque Vaughn was the head coach in Orlando. He also played for Denver during the 2015-16 season when Nets assistant Chris Fleming was on the Nuggets’ coaching staff.
Deron Williams, Point Guard
Why He Fits: While he may have had a messy breakup with the team, he looked like someone who belonged in the league last year during the regular season. In fact, his assists rate while with the Dallas Mavericks was higher than all but six percent of the point guards in the NBA. He also shot better than nearly 92 of point guards in the league on mid-range attempts. While he hit a slump during the Finals, he was serviceable for the Cavs early in the playoffs and during the regular season. For Cleveland, he averaged 7.5 points, 3.6 assists and 1.9 rebounds in 20.3 minutes per game, while shooting 46.3 percent from the field and 41.5 percent from three-point range.
Connection to the Nets: Williams played for the Nets from 2010 until 2015 and was even the face of the franchise. Gregg Polinsky (director of player personnel), Matt Riccardi (senior basketball operations manager) and Ryan Gisriel (director of basketball administration) are still with the team from when he was on the roster.
Anthony Morrow, WING
Why He Fits: If the team decides to slide Russell to the point guard position, Morrow could add solid value as a shooting guard. He turned the ball over on just 2.2 percent of possessions last season, which was one of the best rates among all wing players. Morrow shot better than all but 8 percent of wing players from mid-range while with Oklahoma City last year. He’s also a very good three-point shooter, so he can create space for Brooklyn.
Connection to the Nets: Morrow was on the Hawks in 2012-13, when Kenny Atkinson was an assistant coach in Atlanta. He also played for the Thunder (2014-15) when current Brooklyn assistant coach Adam Harrington was Oklahoma City’s shooting coach.
Gerald Green, WING
Why He Fits: The NBA veteran can still make an impact for a team, even though he has recently struggled to find the right spot. He is athletic and can create his own plays on offense. While with the Celtics in 2016-17, Green scored 17.5 points per 36 minutes with 5.6 rebounds.
Connection to the Nets: Green played for the Rockets in 2007-08, when Atkinson was the director of player development. He was on the Nets during the 2011-12 season.
Alan Anderson, Wing
Why He Fits: Even though he is getting older, he can still help most offenses. He rarely turns the ball over and also shot well on corner three-point and near the rim last season.
Connection to the Nets: Anderson was teammates with Brooklyn big man Quincy Acy while on the Raptors during the 2013-13 season.
John Jenkins, Shooting Guard
Why He Fits: During his 2015-16 campaign with the Suns, Jenkins scored 114.1 points per 100 shot attempts. While that was in the 80th percentile for wing players, he outdid that pace during his first two seasons in the NBA.
Connection to the Nets: Jenkins was on the Hawks from 2012 until 2015, when Atkinson was an assistant coach in Atlanta.
Nate Robinson, Point Guard
Why He Fits: Even though he was out of the league last year, he has shown he is capable of handling high usage rates while on offense. During his 33 games with the Nuggets in 2014-15, his 22.6 usage rate was impressive for his age. That same season with Denver, his assistant percentage was also above average.
Connection to the Nets: Robinson played for the Knicks from 2008 until 2010, when Atkinson was an assistant coach in New York.
Toney Douglas, Point Guard
Why He Fits: During his 2016-17 campaign with the Grizzlies, Douglas made 49 percent of his two-point field goal attempts. This was in the 77th percentile of combo guards in the NBA. He also made nearly half of his mid-range shot attempts and exactly half of his long mid-range field goals. He averaged 5.6 rebounds per 36 minutes last season, which isn’t bad for his 6-foot-2 frame.
Connection to the Nets: Douglas played for the Knicks in 2011-12, when Atkinson was an assistant coach in New York.
Other Possible players
Mo Williams (point guard), Alonzo Gee (wing), Gary Neal (point guard), Sergey Karasev (wing), Ray McCallum (point guard), Jared Cunningham (shooting guard)
DunkWire, Alan Anderson, Alonzo Gee, Anthony Morrow, Deron Williams, Gary Neal, Gerald Green, Jameer Nelson, Jared Cunningham, Joe Harris, John Jenkins, Kirk Hinrich, Mo Williams, Nate Robinson, Ray McCallum, Sergey Karasev, Toney Douglas, Brooklyn Nets