2011-12 record: 22-44
Fifth place, Atlantic Division
Did not make the playoffs
Areas of Strength:
Flexibility. That's the bright side when you have no first-round picks and your six best players are either free agents or have the ability to opt out of their contract. Everything hinges on Deron Williams' willingness to spend the next five years in Brooklyn. If he does, then the other pieces should start to fall in place.
Defense. At one point this season, the Nets were defending worse than any team of the last 20 years. They improved late in the season, but they still have a long way to go. Trading for Gerald Wallace (who has a player option) was a step in the right direction, but they have to keep him on board to have any shot of being a decent defensive team.
Two stats that matter:
37.4% -- Nets' opponents shot 37.4 percent from 3-point range, the second-highest rate in the league.
38 -- Points scored by Brook Lopez in a Feb. 28 win in Dallas, offering a glimpse of what the Nets had been missing all season. It was one of only five games Lopez played.
The way to go:
The Nets have the cash to buy into the first round if they see a player they like slip into the 20s. But general manager Billy King has maintained that his team is looking for veterans to convince Deron Williams that this team can win now. So the trade market must be explored on Draft night and as free agency gets underway.
2011-12 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions)
Offense: 99.7 (23rd)
Defense: 106.9 (29th)
Players Under Contract:
G-F: MarShon Brooks
G: Anthony Morrow
C: Johan Petro
C: Jordan Williams
G: Jordan Farmar (unrestricted, player option)
G: Sundiata Gaines (restricted)
G-F: Gerald Green
F: Kris Humphries
F: Damion James
G: Armon Johnson (restricted)
C: Brook Lopez (restricted)
F: DeShawn Stevenson
F: Gerald Wallace (unrestricted, player option)
G: Deron Williams (unrestricted, player option)
C-F: Shelden Williams
Recent Draft History:
2011: JaJuan Johnson (27), Jordan Williams (36)
2010: Derrick Favors (3), Jordan Crawford (27), Tibor Pleiss (31)
2009: Terrence Williams (11)
2008: Brook Lopez (10), Ryan Anderson (21), Chris Douglas-Roberts (40)
2007: Sean Williams (17)
2006: Marcus Williams (22), Josh Boone (23), Hassan Adams (54)
-- John Schuhmann