NBA trades and free agency signings over the summer, the offseason, meant to strengthen teams, straighten out cap problems and sometimes, personality problems have dominated the sports pages the last two summers. Kevin Durant’s free agency signing past year, departing the Oklahoma Thunder to join the Golden State Warriors, dominated all of the attention last summer.
This summer, the trade initiated by an unhappy all-star guard, Kyrie Irving, forced the Cleveland Cavaliers to find a trade partner, the Boston Celtics, bringing Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, also an all-star and until this summer, an integral part of Boston’s offense, the heart of this team, along with forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round draft pick. Cleveland made Boston an offer they couldn’t refuse. Irving! Power moves at the top of the NBA’s Eastern Conference, but how does this power affect a team in the process of rebuilding, like the Nets, who finished last season in last place.
“We know we’re a long ways from where we wanna get to,” said Brooklyn’s general manager, Sean Marks.
“It goes back to just being fluid, and seeing what happens over the course of the next one, two, three years.
“See how this team develops, how certain pieces of the team develop. How they get along, how they mix.”
In a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers in June, Brooklyn added D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to their mix in exchange for their nine-year veteran center Brook Lopez and the rights to Kyle Kuzma, the 27th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.
With the 22nd overall pick, Brooklyn selected 6-foot-11, 235 pounder Jarrett Allen from the University of Texas in the first round of this year’s draft, and selected Aleksandar Vezenkov with the 57th pick in the second round.
In another move, Brooklyn acquired DeMarre Carroll, 30, and a 2018 first-round and second-round draft pick in July from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Justin Hamilton.
Carroll’s rejoins Brooklyn’s head coach, Kenny Atkinson, who helped guide Carroll through his best two professional seasons, 2013-15 while with the Atlanta Hawks. Atkinson served as an assistant during those two seasons.
Brooklyn begins training camp Monday to get started for the new season. Preseason games begin Tuesday, Oct 3 against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
The Nets 2017-18 regular season begins Wednesday, Oct 18 onthe road in Indiana. The team will open up at the Barclays Center on Atlantic and Flatbush two days later, Friday, Oct 20 versus the Orlando Magic.