Although the free agent season is not completed, the Nets will be unable to add more talent to their roster. However, their offseason transactions have been creative, effective, and innovative. Besides for the blockbuster trade that landed them KG, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry, the Nets added Shaun Livingston, Andray Blatche, and Andrei Kirilenko. Livingston, Blatche, and Kirilenko are former starters, who still have the ability to be effective and contribute to a championship contending team. Billy King was able to sign these contributors for a combined 5.5 million. The Nets’ age will force Kidd to call on Kirilenko, Livingston, and Blatche for major minutes.
Although the NBA teams are willing to pay top dollar for talented big men, the Nets were able to sign Andray Blatche for 1.4 million. However, Nets should thank the Wizards because they amnestied him two years ago. Blatche will be collecting 9.5 million dollars this season from the Wizards, 8 million, and Nets, 1.4 million. Blatche has great agility and skill for a 6’11” center. I was incredibly impressed by Blatche’s ability to score the basketball, while playing solid defense. Kevin Garnett will greatly improve Blatche’s attitude and focus, which will improve his level of play. Blatche will be important for the Nets this season. The Nets will need Blatche to play major minutes at the center and power forward positions. Garnett cannot play 35 minutes any more and Lopez is coming off a surgery so there are question marks about his health. The 26 year old had a great season last season averaging 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in only 20 minutes. Blatche will be playing more important and quality minutes this season for the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets will be playing teams with a lot of size, Pacers and Bulls. The more talented big men, who can score, will help the team succeed and compete against other teams. Blatche will be important against teams like the Heat and Knicks because they will not have enough size to guard him and his fellow teammates.
Although there are investigations about Kirilenko’s contract, Andrei will be a great addition for the Brooklyn Nets. Kirilenko plays like the departed Gerald Wallace, who will be earning 3x as much as the Nets small forward. Similar to Garnett, Pierce will not be able to play more 30 minutes at the small forward position. Kirilenko will be required to fill in for Pierce when he is on the bench. Kirilenko is a professional, who can play great defense and shoot the ball effectively. Kirilenko will perfectly fit the Nets’ needs this season. Kirilenko will be able to defend stars like Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George. Kirilenko has the size and strength that is prevalent in today’s NBA because teams constantly play small. Kirilenko had a good season for the Timberwolves, 12.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.1 blk. Andrei will provide great bench minutes for an old team. Kirilenko will act as the sixth man on the Nets bench, which is improving by the day.
Once believed to be the achilles heel for the Brooklyn Nets, the bench has vastly improved since the start of the offseason. The Nets bench consists of Shaun Livingston, Tyshawn Taylor, Jason Terry, Andrei Kirilenko, DJ White, Tornike Shengalia, Reggie Evans, Mirza Teletovic, Mason Plumlee, and Andray Blatche. Luckily, The Nets three best bench players, Blatche, Kirilenko, and Terry, will be call upon frequently by Jason Kidd because the starters, KG, Paul Pierce, and Joe Johnson, are old and unable to play 35 plus minutes a night in the NBA. The Nets have players that can fill valuable roles this season as well. Plumlee and Evans will provide strength and rebounding to the Nets’ frontline. On the wings, Teletovic, Terry, and Shengalia has the ability to shoot threes, stretch the defense, and provide instant offense off of the bench. Although the Nets’ backup point guards are inconsistent, Deron Williams is in the prime of his career and should play over 35 minutes per game at a high level. The Nets’ bench must succeed if they are going to top the Bulls, Pacers, and Heat
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