Hang up the help wanted signs. With Brook Lopez now out west, the Brooklyn Nets are in desperate need of a big man.
The Brooklyn Nets ended their preseason with a surprising 3-1 record with quality wins against their New York borough rival, the New York Knicks, and put on a show against the Miami Heat. Although the Nets had an impressive preseason, Brooklyn has shown they haven’t solved their big man problem.
During their two game series with the Knicks, big men Enes Kanter and Willy Hernangomez attacked the basket and dominated the paint while the Nets big men Timofey Mozgov, Trevor Booker and Tyler Zeller did not put up the numbers the Nets were expecting.
The Nets final preseason game was against another atlantic division rival, the Philadelphia 76ers. The Nets were completely outbattled down in the paint by Philadelphia’s expensive Joel Embiid. In Embiid’s first preseason game of the season, he proved to Philadelphia he was worth the right price. Embiid completely dominated the paint on both ends of the floor. He shut down and bullied Mozgov in the paint. Mozgov ended up with only two points and two rebounds in eighteen minutes of play. Embiid finished the night with twenty two points and seven rebounds in only fifteen minutes of play.
The Nets went out and signed Tyler Zeller last month and traded for Timofey Mozgov in part of the D’Angelo Russell trade hoping to fill the Brook Lopez big man hole. Neither of them have been able to prove to Brooklyn that they can fill that hole. The Nets need a dominant big man who can hold down the fort down low and primarily focus their play down low.
Some possible late preseason signings Brooklyn can make to fix their big man wounds are Roy Hibbert, Spencer Hawes, Nikola Pekovic, and Tiago Splitter. All of these big men are currently free agents and not on any team. All of these guys also primarily play down low and are not shooting big men. Brooklyn doesn’t need any more shooting in their roster and when it comes to filling the big man hole, they need a big man who stays down low and can play both ends of the floor.
Out of those four big men that can fill the Brooklyn Nets big man hole, Tiago Splitter is the best fit. Tiago can protect the rim and hold down the paint well enough to fill the big man hole. Even though Tiago has not put up good numbers since his San Antonio Spurs run.
The Nets can bring him back to those numbers and this will be Tiago’s best shot in coming back into the league.