Jeremy Lin Says Nets Will Make Playoffs ... Jeremy Lin Is Wrong

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, August 1, 2017 1:37 PM UTC

Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017 1:37 PM UTC

We have hit a quiet time in the wild NBA offseason for now. The Brooklyn Nets might not be much better than last year but they will look different. Let’s examine their betting win total at BetOnline.

I can’t speak to whom was the worst general manager in NBA history, but in my lifetime former Brooklyn Nets GM Billy King is on the short list. In 2013, Celtics GM Danny Ainge absolutely ripped King off when Ainge sent past-their-prime Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Brooklyn in exchange for the Nets’ 2014, 2016, and 2018 first-round picks, with the right to swap picks in 2017.

To be fair to King, he was under orders from ownership to try and win a championship and compete with the then-dominant Miami Heat. It didn’t come close to working. In January 2016, the Nets rightfully fired King. The guy charged with digging out of that hole was Sean Marks, the former assistant GM of the San Antonio Spurs, the model franchise in the NBA. He also had an extensive background as a player, coach and front-office executive.

Marks has done about as good as job as possible, but he’s obviously hamstrung by not being able to tank because it does no good: Boston was the owner of all those first-round picks and will be again next summer.

So what Marks largely did this offseason was take on other teams’ bad contracts in exchange for future picks, young talent, etc. The big deal was trading center Brook Lopez to the Lakers for 2015 No. 2 overall pick D’Angelo Russell and center Timofey Mozgov – more specifically, Mozgov’s awful contract. That’s a worthwhile move for Marks as Russell (15.8 ppg, 4.8 apg last season) still could develop into a franchise player, Lopez was going to become a free agent after next season regardless and his value was never going to be higher.

The Nets also acquired the lousy contract of forward DeMarre Carroll (8.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg) from Toronto for a 2018 lottery-protected first-round and second-round pick. Toronto won’t be a lottery team so now the Nets have a 2018 first-rounder – probably mid-to-late 20s -- since they have to hand over theirs to Boston. Nets coach Kenny Atkinson coached Carroll as an assistant with the Atlanta Hawks and values Carroll’s professionalism and defense.

Finally, Brooklyn took on the onerous contract of Portland swingman Allen Crabbe (10.7 ppg) for forward Andrew Nicholson. Crabbe, 25, originally signed his $75 million contract as an offer sheet with the Nets last summer but the Trail Blazers matched the offer. The Nets had to wait an entire year before they could re-acquire Crabbe as per league rules.

Brooklyn also drafted Texas big man Jarrett Allen this year to join the rest of the young core, which features Caris LeVert, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Isaiah Whitehead.

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Hey, I appreciate glass half-full guys, but Nets point guard Jeremy Lin is insane when he said recently that the 2017-18 Nets are making the playoffs. This team won 20 games in 2016-17 and 21 the year before. BetOnline gives the Nets a total of 20.5 for 2017-18. They are +1400 to make the playoffs.

No question the Nets should be more competitive with a likely starting five of Russell, Crabbe, Hollis-Jefferson, Trevor Booker and Mozgov in the paint. Lin, LeVert (perhaps he starts over Booker if the team decides to play small), Carroll, Whitehead and Allen off the bench.

But playoffs? Playoffs!? Brooklyn to miss out is -3300.

This team is well-coached by Atkinson, though, and should play hard every night. I do think winning at least 21 games in the sorry playing in the sorry Eastern Conference is very doable.

Free NBA Pick: ‘Over’ 20.5 WinsBest Line Offered: BetOnline
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