The only way that the 2009-2010 season for the New Jersey Nets can be described in an unmitigated disaster.
The Nets spent the vast majority of the very long NBA season fretting that they would win less games than the infamous 1972-73 Philadelphia 76rs, a team that only one 9 games behind Fred Carter’s 20 points per game.
It’s a sad state of affairs when winning 12 games is a cause for celebration, but that’s exactly the situation facing the Nets organization.
Now, on to the future, and hopefully, rebuilding. New Jersey wants to forget this season ever happened, but that means hard decisions about the future.
Number one on the rebuilding list will be whether interim coach and GM Kiki Vandeweghe will stay on with the franchise. Vandeweghe is in the final year of his contract, and putting together one of the worst teams in NBA history is not much of a reason to keep someone on. But, honestly, most GMs in the NBA are lousy, and coaching is mostly non-existent. So, what, if anything, can the Nets do to keep from repeating this season?
The Nets need to be careful not to try a complete overhaul of the roster, but instead look to significant changes. In a league made of of teams with interchangeable players, there are some starting points for the Nets.
Rookie Terrence Williams has provided a bit of hope, although his 8.4 PPG and 4.5 RPG are hardly enough to carry a team, and to be clear, Williams only started 9 games this season, and may have been hampered by foot injuries as the season wore on. Still, his efforts are enough to consider him as a future contributor.
Brook Lopez and Devin Harris are the leading scorers on a team that lacks a lot of offense.
So where do the Nets look for more punch? The most obvious choice is that if they get the top lottery pick, they should take John Wall, but if they don’t get the top pick, they might do well to land a wing player like Wes Johnson or Evan Turner. If they drop too far, they might have to settle on best available players or grab players who can play the 3 and 4 like Al-Farouq Aminu or Patrick Patterson, even though there may be more highly rated pure bigs available.
It all depends on how the Nets see improvement; the Nets already have Lopez in the paint, do they want to help him out by creating more scoring from the wing or add depth in the paint? Drafting Eric Monroe, DeMarcus Cousins or Derrick Favors might not mean significantly more offense, just more depth at the post.
In the second round, it’s important to grab whoever is the best available player, and that means they could end up with someone like Willie Warren, Greivis Vasquez or possible even Eric Bledsoe if he falls out of the first round. One thing is certain, any player drafted by the Nets, regardless of position, has a solid shot at making the team.