Daily Briefing: July 7, 2011 (Nets Edition)

With the media spending so much attention the Knicks recently, it seems as if the Nets have been forgotten.  But with a new arena coming in 2012 and rumors of Dwight Howard wanting to leave Orlando, the Nets certainly have a very bright future.  With Deron Williams likely to re-sign with the team, the Nets are going to be major players in free agency during the next few years.  Although they have a few bad contracts, the team still has plenty of cap flexibility.  Combine that with an owner willing to do anything to win, and you could have a special team in Brooklyn in the near future.

– Earlier today Deron Williams made news by apparently signing with a Turkish team.  D-Will would obviously only play with this team if the lockout dragged onto into the NBA season, but it’s significant news nonetheless.

– These types of moves are important because they put pressure on the owners to get a deal done.  No one wants to see their star player get hurt playing overseas.

– The Nets apparently prefer re-signing Kris Humphries rather than signing Nene.  It’s hard to argue with that logic.  Humphries will likely cost less and already has a year under Avery Johnson.  Him and Brook Lopez are a very potent frontcourt duo.  There’s no reason to break that up to bring in a guy who is more of a center than a power forward.

– Speaking of the center position, there will be a battle for minutes there.  Brook Lopez is obviously the starter, but who will get the remaining minutes?  After a disappointing first season in New Jersey, Johan Petro is on the hot seat.  The Nets probably won’t be able to move his contract, but it’s worth a shot.  He only has two-years and a little more than $6 million left on his deal.  It’s not exactly an albatross contract, but I believe Petro is one of the worst players in the league.  The signing (along with the Outlaw’s ridiculous deal) continues to baffle me to this day.

– With all of that said, Jordan Williams should be able to compete for backup minutes at center.  He’s a rebounding machine that could serve as a solid role player for the Nets in the upcoming season.  It’s not going to take much to be better than Petro.

– As I mentioned before, Travis Outlaw’s contract is ridiculous.  He’s not a terrible player, but he’s not worth anywhere near $7 million per year for the next four years.  The Nets have to ship him to another team if they want to be able to make a huge impact in free agency the next few years.  They’ll have enough money for Dwight Howard regardless, but Outlaw may prevent the Nets from adding another piece to the championship puzzle.

– So where else do the Nets look for free agency help?  I say the Nets should look to acquire quality players at the wing positions.  Shooting guard and small forward are two major positions of concern for the Nets.  Even with Marshon Brooks, the Nets don’t have enough firepower at two-guard.  Billy King has to bring Sasha Vujacic back and then look for even another scorer.

– As for the three, Travis Outlaw and Damion James just aren’t enough.  Outlaw showed this year that he is simply a mediocre player who could fit in somewhere off the bench.  He’s not a starter in this league.  As for James, he can be a good player, but he’s proved nothing yet after an injury-filled 2010-2011.

It’s great to have an all-star point guard, but there’s no point in having him if he has no one to pass to.  The Nets have to explore improving every area of their team during this offseason.  With the right pieces, this team could definitely make a push for the playoffs.

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The new arena is coming, but there's a season for the Nets to play first.

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