The Brooklyn Nets have made some impactful offseason additions, while the New York Knicks descend in a full downward spiral. Could this be the year the Nets become New York’s basketball team?
Through the last five seasons, the Brooklyn Nets have recorded one more win than the Knicks with a 172-238 record to New York’s 171-239. One team will have to gain an edge, and Brooklyn is on the cusp.
The New Jersey Nets made the move to the Barclay Center in 2012, renaming the franchise the Brooklyn Nets. Since then, a geographical rivalry commenced, and one team has outweighed the other in overall talent. That is, until now.
That is, until now.
The Brooklyn Nets have committed to a rebuild through young talent and put it into play starting this summer. In the Movie Gallery of Blockbuster trades, Brooklyn traded franchise big man Brook Lopez to Los Angeles for D’Angelo Russell, and Timofey Mozgov.
Trading for Russell, a young an upcoming guard, proves the rebuild has commenced. They want him to be apart of the solution when it happens for the franchise.
After acquiring Russell, the Nets took on a salary dump for Toronto in a trade for DeMarre Carroll. In addition to the former All-Star, the Nets acquired 2018 first and second round picks. Two future young players, that will add to their youth movement.
Now, let’s check in with the New York Knicks:
Phil Jackson’s dysfunctional relationship with players and the media has resulted in a parting of ways between himself and the franchise. Through the first eleven days of free agency, New York has had no general manager. Steve Mills has assumed the role of President of Operations.
Like Brooklyn, the Knicks are working on booting their seven season franchise player, Carmelo Anthony. Won’t be as simple as the dealing of Brook Lopez however. With a no-trade-clause featured in his contract, New York has been attempting to trade him at the deadline, to no avail. Soon, the Knicks will be without their general manager, franchise player, or even a starting point guard. All within the same month. Ouch.
In that same month, the Nets have climbed the charts. No one’s talking playoffs yet, but it’s clear they won’t be the worst team in the league next year. As for the Knicks, no one knows who will even be on the team for next season.
Sure, it’s still early in the summer to be stressing roster changes. But the Nets have already fixed most of their starting roster, guys who will get more time to blend. It’s smart of New York to stretch the Carmelo trade and get the best deal, but the sooner the better.
The Nets roster? I’m glad you asked:
Jeremy Lin is their starting point guard. He proved very capable of running an offense when healthy. D’Angelo Russell will share the backcourt with him, a former second overall pick, and prolific scorer from just about anywhere on the floor.
DeMarre Carroll will serve as starting small forward, a veteran defender who’s seen plenty of playoff exposure. Barring any future trades or contracts, Trevor Booker and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson will share minutes at the four. Both capable of scoring, and Booker a reliable rebounder.
As for the five, Brooklyn will find its weak link here for the first time in years. After trading big man Brook Lopez, Timofey Mozgov will serve as the starting center. Though he’s an NBA champion, his contribution on the floor isn’t what won it for the Cavaliers.
They’ll see depth, and maybe the rise of young center Jarrett Allen. Selected with the 22nd overall pick of the draft, Allen is lengthy and very versatile on the open floor.
The New York Knicks roster? Where to begin?
European draft pick, Frank Ntilikina, will likely start as a point guard, though they’re reportedly searching for a veteran mentor. His potential is still unknown, and he could very well be a bust in the short term.
Courtney Lee has been mentioned in trade talks aplenty and could be moved before the season starts. It seems inevitable when you take the Tim Hardaway signing into an account. Could he play the three in absence of Anthony? Maybe. Assuredly better at the two, however.
Hardaway is good for the Knicks, just not on the books. It’s quite the risk to take at a time like this and may come back to bite New York in the butt. Kristaps Porzingis is the silver lining in New York. In absence of Carmelo Anthony, he’ll be the new face of the franchise, and the leader of this team.
Joakim Noah is Joakim Noah. His contract is atrocious and almost immovable as teammate Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks are stuck with him for three more seasons unless they give up and stretch his salary, which will prove just as costly.
The Brooklyn Nets future may not be brighter long-term, but they’ll find success sooner through their own rebuild. The New York Knicks are nothing short of a mess, without structure, and without direction.
Barring any dramatic breakthroughs on either side, it will be the Nets climbing the leader boards from the bottom, while the Knicks continue to sink.
Brooklyn’s Grit will yield results, and the preliminary earnings will be evident this season.