Brooklyn Nets: Expendable Players Going into Next Season
While the Brooklyn Nets still have a half season left to play, they are most likely not competing for anything at this point. When a team bottoms out like this, the front office may start to look for moves they can make at the trade deadline and how they can improve for the following season. For the Nets, here are some expendable players going into next season.
The Brooklyn Nets have had a rough season so far. Bojan Bogdanovic has been underwhelming, to say the least after an impressive Olympic run with Croatia. Jeremy Lin has only played 12 games at the midway point. And none of the young players have emerged, yet.
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With only half a season left the Nets would be wise to start narrowing down who to let go this summer and who to keep. Now is the perfect time because Atkinson would be able to fluctuate minutes for different players giving the front office a good look at each player.
It seems possible that the front office could try to make moves before the trade deadline. And if there is not a viable option, then the post all-star break part of the season would almost represent a tryout for next season. If a player really picks it up after all-star break, he may well find himself a spot on next years team, ala Sean Kilpatrick. For now, here are the current expendable Nets players.
Bojan Bogdanovic has had a disappointing season so far with the Nets. Many people were expecting Bogdanovic to have a breakout year after his tremendous success in the Olympics. So far, that success has not translated to the NBA. His scoring average is up from 11.2 points per game last season to 14.1 points per game this season. That is a nice improvement from a third-year player, but Bogdanovic is not the average third-year player. Bogdanovic is 27 and will be 28 heading into the summer. He has also played multiple seasons overseas before playing in the NBA.
He has plenty experience, and it was expected that his progress would be much faster than it has been. Bogdanovic would be a great piece for the Nets if they had more talent on the roster. Expecting him to do a lot of the heavy lifting on offense was an unfair expectation, but the Nets situation will most likely not change anytime soon.
Bogdanovic would be better off contributing to a winning team. The Nets should look to move him before the trade deadline this year. If they have no luck with that they should explore other options before bringing back Bogdanovic.
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Luckily for the Nets, Bogdanovic is a restricted free agent, so when the summer comes around, they can put off dealing with his contract and see what offers he will receive on the open market. If the offers are too high, the Nets can let him walk. If the Nets feel it is a fair deal they can match the offer sheet and retain him. This will also give the Nets time to pursue bigger name free agents before dealing with Bogdanovic.
Bogdanovic’s return next season will depend on all the variables listed above, but his departure would not be detrimental to the Nets. They could find another guy to produce the same numbers as Bogdanovic at a lower price if his offer sheet is really high.
Sean Kilpatrick has been a great find for the Nets. He had two 10-day contracts with the Nets last season and he made the most of it. He then signed a three-year contract with the Nets at the end of last season.
Kilpatrick’s contract is only $1 million per season. With him producing good numbers on such a low salary, he is an attractive trade piece. The contract he signed also has non-guaranteed money for next season. That means any team that trades for him will have the option to cut him from next season’s roster and not owe him any money.
What makes Kilpatrick’s contract a good one to deal is the same reason the Nets should hold on to him. The Nets have plenty of guards on the team, but not all of them are playing as well as Kilpatrick. That is why the Nets should only trade Kilpatrick if the right deal comes along. They signed him for nothing, and to receive something somewhat valuable back for him, would be a win for the Nets. And with all the backcourt players already on the team and all the players that will be available in free agency, the Nets could afford to lose Kilpatrick.
Sean Marks was smart about his free agent moves this summer. Although Scola is the fourth-highest paid player on the team, he is only receiving $5.5 million this year. With the Nets owning the lowest payroll of all the teams in the league, they would have had to find a place to invest money, and Scola happened to be the lucky guy. What also makes this move smart is that Scola is only on the books for one year. That means the Nets will be free of Scola this offseason.
Scola is the most expendable player on the Nets. He is only averaging five points and four rebounds per game this season. The Nets have already brought in a better backup power forward in Quincy Acy. Also, the Nets may want to give some minutes to Chris McCullough to see if his D-League success will carry over against NBA competition.
At this point, there is no reason for the Nets to bring Scola back next season. The Nets will be able to pick from multiple free agents this summer. There are some players on the market that may be desperate for a new home. If the Nets miss out on the big name free agents at that position, they will not be kicking themselves over letting Scola go because he won’t be hard to replace.
It goes without saying that Randy Foye is not contributing much to the Nets this season. He did hit a game winner for the team, but that gives him credit for 1 of the Nets 8 wins on the season. That is not very impressive. As of now, he is on the team just as veteran presence and someone who is collecting a paycheck. He is in a similar position as Luis Scola.
Foye is a free agent after this season and more likely than not the Nets will not pursue him. He is a person who can be replaced by another veteran. The only reason Foye would make a return next season is if he has a huge impact on the organization off the court and in the locker room. If that is the case he still will only be paid veterans minimum.
The Nets have plenty of guys on their roster that they can trade and replace. But out of all the players on the team, these three players would be the easiest to move and/or the easiest to replace.
The Nets will have some bigger decisions to make if they receive an offer for Brook Lopez or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. With Lopez being the franchise cornerstone, he is not expendable at all. Hollis-Jefferson is still a young defensive prospect and could make an impact for whatever team he plays for.
The Nets would not want to give up either of these players for too little in return. Right now, Marks is being smart and getting a feel for what the market is for the players on his team. He understands there is no point in rushing a deal this season because the Nets are not in contention.