How the NBA can keep self-destructive teams like the Nets from hurting the league
The Brooklyn Nets had a productive offseason, adding D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll, and Jarrett Allen.
But let’s be honest: We’re grading on a curve here. The Nets also lost Brook Lopez, who is better now than anyone else mentioned. It’s not clear Brooklyn will win more than the 20 games the Nets won in 2016-17. The Nets are still in deep trouble.
Consider it from this angle: Brooklyn swung its deal for Russell because the second-worst team in the league was from a team nearly as awful as the Nets themselves! This bodes poorly for immediate improvement.
What’s worse is that tanking still does nothing for the Nets this season: Brooklyn owes Boston its 2018 first-round pick outright due to the Kevin Garnett-Paul Pierce trade. That same trade cost the Nets the No. 3 pick in 2016 and the No. 1 pick in 2017. That pick could send Luka Doncic or Michael Porter to the Celtics in 2018.
So yes, the Nets found a way to improve this summer. But without a lottery pick in 2018, Brooklyn is still two years away from being two years away.
There are a number of reasons teams end up not moving disgruntled stars just look at how the Kyrie Irving buzz has stalled and Aldridge might be one of the most complicated cases around. That’s both bad and good.