As the start of the 2012-2013 NBA season draws near and the team opens training camp, the newly constructed Brooklyn Nets will make the final touches on their currently talented roster.
However, as I have been writing about during the entire offseason, the Nets are still missing much needed pieces to their roster that may help them achieve championship contention. Currently, the team lacks depth off the bench, athleticism in their frontcourt, a dedicated and efficient shooter, and more playoff contending experience (not to mention the need for team identity, which I expect they will establish during training camp and the preseason).
Who should the Nets look at? Who should they go after and sign? Here are a few available NBA free agents the Nets should consider adding to their roster if they desire to be contenders for a championship this season:
Leandro Babosa: This guy has been on my favorite players list for a while. He is a hard worker on and off the court, and his athleticism and ability to get to the basket quickly makes him a great addition as a point guard to back up Deron Williams. The LA Lakers have seemed to express interest in the agile guard, so the Nets should act quickly to acquire him for their roster.
James Anderson: Anderson is a young stud who spent his short career with the San Antonio Spurs. After being drafted in the late first round in 2010 out of Oklahoma State, Anderson appeared in 77 games, averaging 3.6 points in 11.0 minutes in his two seasons. He was riddled with injuries but gave the Spurs a ton of energy, athleticism and, most importantly, shooting off the bench (shot 39% from three his first season). He would be an ideal up-and-coming spot up shooter off the bench if given the right opportunity.
Derek Fisher: This would almost be a novelty signing, but experience and stability is needed in the Nets lockeroom. Few players on the current roster have played many games in the playoffs (with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson being the exceptions). By adding Fisher, leadership is instantly brought into a team that may need it when it comes crunch time.
Mickael Pietrus: Spending the past few seasons between teams, Pietrus can bring both athleticism and perimeter shooting to the Nets squad. His length would also serve to provide defense to some of the leagues top lengthy scorers (eg, Lebron James, Kevin Durant). Pietrus is currently in talks with the Milwaukee Bucks so the Nets should act fast to acquire him.
Kenyon Martin: This dude purely brings grit and toughness to any teams frontcourt. With Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries as the Nets current starters, no team is scared to play against the Nets’ big men. But, with Martin, aggression would be added to the team dynamic and interior hardiness would never be lacking.
Chris Andersen: Need a harder worker? Chris Andersen is your guy. He hustles on every series and never gives up on any play. These type of hard working players don’t come around often in the NBA, so bringing in Andersen would prove to be greatly advantageous, especially for a team that was said to be lazy and apathy during league play last season.
DeSagana Diop: Coaches around the league will agree: you can’t teach height. This 7-foot big man brings instant length, defense, and rebounding to the Nets currently frail frontcourt. During his 11 year career, Diop only averaged 2.0 points per game and 3.7 rebounds, however he adds experience and defensive prowess to a team that greatly lacks these very things.
The Nets certainly need to make some changes in order to compete this year for a national title. If owners are indeed on a 3-year championship plan, they need to revamp these areas of the roster with quality talent that includes the aforementioned or a second playoff exit will be imminent.