2017-18 Brooklyn Nets Predictions and NBA Futures Odds Picks
How not to rebuild a team in the NBA - trade away all your first-round picks and then tank better than any team outside of Philadelphia ever has. When you write it down the approach doesn't make any sense at all, yet for some bizarre reason it is exactly what Brooklyn seems to think would work. Without the addition of young talent that they otherwise would have, the Nets have been forced to cobble together a group of has-beens, never-beens and hopefully-will-bes to try to climb back to respectability after two years in the league's cellar. So, is it going to work out? And by work out I mean are the Nets not going to finish in last in the NBA for a third year in a row? Are they going to be at least a little watchable? Is there any reason to think they are on the right track?
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2017 Brooklyn Nets Betting Storylines
The most interesting thing about the Nets last year is that despite a shocking lack of talent they actually played pretty well. I'm not saying that they were a good team - they really weren't. It's just that they consistently did the kind of things and played in the kind of ways that made them look better than they should. And in the kind of ways that makes you think that they could improve in a hurry if the talent were to improve. The credit for that goes to head coach Kenny Atkinson, who was a head man for the first time after time as an assistant in Atlanta and with the Knicks and a playing career that took him all over Europe. His is a thankless job that you would only take if you didn't think you had any other options, but he quietly did a very good job and is a surprisingly significant asset for the team.
What is D'Angelo Russell? The team traded for the point guard from the Lakers when Lonzo Ball made Russell expendable, and now he and Jeremy Lin form one of the more curious backcourts in the league. When Russell is at his best he is incredibly athletic, creative, and exciting. Too often, though, he has the maturity of the toddler and is wildly inconsistent. If Russell treats this like a restart to his NBA career, and he is ready to put in the work and prove himself worthy of his talent, then he could be in a great spot. Imagine what Atkinson could do with Russell and Lin both on the court as kind of a point-guard-and-two-thirds to throw opposing teams off balance? Russell is only two years removed from being the second overall pick in the draft, and his upside is amazing. But if he thinks he is the king of the world and entitled to all the treasures without any work then things will be rough for the Nets.
To get Russell and Timofey Mozgov, the Nets had to send Brook Lopez to the Lakers (they also threw in the rights to current preseason darling Kyle Kuzma, but it remains to be seen what he turns into). Lopez was the team's best player last year and the leader and face of the team in many ways. The move was probably a good one, and it certainly shakes things up for the Nets, but it remains to be seen early on how much his leadership and general presence is missed. A quick start for Russell would help as much as anything here, but if the fans long for Lopez and what he brought, and do so vocally, that will only add to the pressure on Russell and the rest of the team.
2017 Brooklyn Nets Additions and Departures
It was a busy offseason for the Nets. We should say up front that management has done a remarkable job here of building a pretty decent team while being saddled with the loss of those draft picks. We've talked about that Lakers deal a lot - Lopez and the rights of Kuzma for Russell and Mozgov. Mozgov will start at center, but he's the kind of guy that a team probably hopes doesn't last in that role. Jarrett Allen was surprisingly available with the 22nd pick in the draft, which the Nets had received from Washington in a trade last year, and the hope has to be that the former freshman from Texas can take over the center role sooner or later.
The Nets signed Allen Crabbe to an offer sheet in 2016 that forced Portland to overpay him significantly. And now they got him after Portland dumped his salary. He's an excellent shooter for a team that struggled from three last year, and he could play a significant role. Building through salary dumps was an approach the team took again when they grabbed DeMarre Carroll from Toronto. Carroll was a high-profile signing for the Raptors who was a disaster there, but he had his best year playing for Atlanta with Atkinson as an assistant, so there are reasons to be optimistic.
2017 Brooklyn Nets Futures Odds and Trends
Brooklyn Nets Futures Odds
NBA title odds (from BetOnline ) : +50000
Eastern Conference title odds : +20000
Season win total (from BetOnline): 26.5 ("over" is favored at -120)
The Nets were no more fun to bet on than to watch. They were 41-38-3 ATS, so there were no profits betting sides in the long term. There were no profits on the total, either - they went over 39 times and "under" 40.
2017 Brooklyn Nets Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
I feel strangely optimistic about this team. Don't get me wrong, they are going to lose a ton of games and probably top out at 11th or so in the East if everything goes right. Their offseason was sneaky good, though, and they are an improved team. They have a whole lot of shooting guards types and seem to want Russell to be another one, so they will have to figure that out. But they are well-coached, they will be able to score, and they won't be easy to play against. I like the over on the season win total - more than I ever would have guessed I would.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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