The Brooklyn Nets have been hit hard by injuries as well as key players missing out due to Covid-19. As a result, they have had to make a few last-minute signings with more to come. With that in mind, we take a look at who the Nets could potentially sign as the NBA restart approaches.
Nets Are Just Trying to Plug Holes
I need to make one thing clear before I dive into who I think the Nets might sign. In no way, shape or form do I believe that Brooklyn is trying to compete. I’m not saying they’re trying to miss the playoffs on purpose. What I am saying is, if they did miss the playoffs, I think they would be perfectly ok with that. In my opinion, the only purpose these games serve for them is to see who they will keep around for next season to pair with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
They have no chance of competing for a ring and very little chance of getting out of the first round. They currently sit 8.8 games behind the Sixers so they will either finish 7th or 8th in the eastern conference standings. That means a first-round matchup with either Milwaukee or Toronto which will be over in 4 or 5 games. With that in mind, the players I think they will sign are stopgaps instead of guys that will make big contributions.
The signing of Michael Beasley just proves my point. First of all, he has to serve a 5-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy. Why sign him if he’s going to miss 5 out of the 8 games left? If your answer to that is “they signed him for the playoffs”, you aren’t really paying attention to what has been going on with Beasley’s career.
Remember, this guy was the number 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft. Since then, he has been nothing short of a bust. The ability is there, the mental capacity to be a professional on a regular basis is not. His last stint in the league was with the Lakers in 2018-19 where he averaged 10.7 minutes a game on a team that didn’t even make the playoffs.
Now he’s supposed to help the Nets in a playoff matchup with the Bucks or Raptors? It’s a ridiculous signing by a team that knows they can’t compete. That brings me to Jamal Crawford. Love the guy and he is genuinely one of the most fun players to watch when he is on.
That’s the problem with Crawford though. The last few years, he’s been off a lot. Since 2015, Crawford is averaging 12.1 points, 2.6 assists, and 1.6 rebounds on 40% shooting from the field and 34% from three. Those are not good numbers at all. Crawford has never been a great shooter. He’s one of the NBA’s all-time heat check players but as far as consistency, he is below average.
Now he’s 40 and hasn’t played for a year so what are we really expecting to see here? People keep saying “I don’t understand why he hasn’t been in the league all season”. How can that even be a serious statement? The guy was drafted in the 2000 draft, has below-average shooting numbers and we can’t figure out why he doesn’t have a job?
I feel like I’m disrespecting Crawford by saying all of this but what I’m really trying to do is shine the light on what the Nets are doing. They know Crawford can’t contribute in any meaningful way so, in my opinion, that’s exactly why they signed him.
If They’re Trying to Compete Then They Should Sign Isaiah Thomas
Over at BetOnline, where you can find a ton of great props, Isaiah Thomas is +400 as the player the Nets will sign next. First of all, why would they sign Crawford before Thomas? I’m pretty sure I’ve already answered this question so although Thomas would make sense for them, I don’t think they’ll do it.
If you think I’m being pessimistic here, BetOnline does not have odds for Lance Thomas yet the latest rumors coming out of Brooklyn are that the Nets are close to signing him. This is not an oversight by BetOnline. Why would they think that the Nets are trying to sign a 32-year-old forward with career averages of 5.2 points and 2.6 rebounds that hasn’t played since last season when he was warming the bench for a Knicks team that won 17 games? None of this makes any sense which has been the overall theme with Brooklyn.
I think BetOnline is fully aware of the fact that the Nets are not trying to compete. That’s why they also have Pau Gasol at +1400, Chauncey Billups at +5000, and Dwyane Wade at +10000. None of those signings would be less ridiculous than the moves they’ve already made!