The Brooklyn Nets are without a doubt, the laughing stock of the NBA right now. Last season Brooklyn finished with a league-worst 20-62 record. With a roster loaded with young, talented players; things in Brooklyn are beginning to look up.
The Nets biggest off-season splash without a doubt was acquiring the young, talented D'Angelo Russell from the Los Angeles Lakers. While they lost star-center Brook Lopez, Lopez was on the last year of his contract and likely to leave to play for a contender.
Russell will be a franchise cornerstone for Brooklyn. He averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game last year. Entering his third season Russell faces lofty expectations from Brooklyn fans. Many Brooklyn fans believe he is a sleeper to make the Eastern Conference All-Star team.
To go along with Russell, the Nets have a good core of young players such as forwards Caris Levert and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, as well as center Jarrett Allen. With veteran Jeremy Lin running the show at point guard, this Nets lineup is starting to take shape.
Everyone remembers the awful trade the Nets made with Boston. The trade involved Brooklyn shipping out four first round picks, for Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. Good news for Brooklyn this is the last year they are without their own first round pick.
Starting in the 2019 season, Brooklyn will have their own picks. The 2019 draft class is projected to be loaded with talent. That draft class could include the likes of: Zion Williamson, Marvin Bagley III, and R.J. Barrett. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson, has stated the team is "thinking" about tanking the 2019 season. Which, depending on the draft lottery, would land the Nets a top pick in the 2019 draft.
It may be five or more years before the Nets can contend for a championship. However, with this talented and young nucleus, Brooklyn could play spoiler to some playoff contenders in the upcoming season.