NBA Insider Gives Nets' Biggest Needs This Offseason

Bobby Marks claims Brooklyn needs to establish an identity this summer.
Jan 20, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) practices free throws prior to a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 20, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (10) practices free throws prior to a game against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
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Bobby Marks, an NBA Insider for ESPN, recently published an article on ESPN+ talking about every team's biggest priority this offseason. This included needs for each team in the NBA Draft, as well as free agency. Marks had an interesting point on the Brooklyn Nets.

Marks said that the Nets need "to establish an identity" this summer. Brooklyn went 32-50 this past season, with a combination of solid veterans and young, developing assets. This resulted in mediocrity as the 11th seed in the East.

To make matters worse, the Nets' first-round pick in the draft belongs to Houston. Where did that pick end up in the lottery? Third overall.

The Nets took a great step in hiring Jordi Fernandez, a coach who emphasized unselfishness, team success, and player development in an interview with YES.

Marks' needs for the Nets this summer included:

- Playmaking, both on the wing and at the guard position.

- Shooting.

- A paint presence.

- Perimeter defense.

- Experienced, veteran leadership.

Interestingly, the Marks put down veteran leadership and playmaking on the wing, because Mikal Bridges was presumed to be both, after making it to the NBA Finals with Phoenix. Dennis Schroder also fits the category of veteran leadership, and Ben Simmons, albeit often not healthy, can play-make and defend at a high level.

Of course, it must not be enough if Brooklyn went 32-50, and with the team potentially shopping their veterans, including Bridges, they'll need to re-tool the roster in whichever direction they choose.

Perhaps the Nets should embrace the identity they had just five years ago. Throughout the 2018-19 season, Brooklyn was that young, fun, rebuilding team that surprised everyone and made the postseason. They were led by players just getting started in the league, including D'Angelo Russell, Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, and Spencer Dinwiddie.

The Nets already have a budding star in Cam Thomas, averaging 22.5 points per game this past season. He's backed up by other young assets in Noah Clowney, Day'Ron Sharpe, Jalen Wilson, and Dariq Whitehead.

Marks made a point on how the Nets need to figure out to handle having zero picks in this year's draft. If they trade in for a lottery pick, it would likely cost Bridges or another high-level talent on their roster, thrusting Brooklyn into a rebuild.


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Jed Katz

JED KATZ