2016-17 Record: 20-62 (15th in East)
Players Added: Jarrett Allen (Draft), DeMarre Carroll (Trade with TOR), Allen Crabbe (Trade with POR), Timofey Mozgov (Trade with LAL), D’Angelo Russell (Trade with LAL)
Players Lost: Randy Foye (FA), Archie Goodwin (FA), Justin Hamilton (Trade to TOR), Brook Lopez (Trade to LAL), K.J. McDaniels (FA), Andrew Nicholson (Trade to POR)
Projected Team MVP: D’Angelo Russell
Russell is, by far, the biggest name on the Nets roster but the gap between his current level of play and what he could be in the future is quite large. In fact, it wouldn’t be difficult to argue fellow point guard Jeremy Lin as the best player on the team at this very moment. With that said, Russell has stuffed the stat sheet in an impressive fashion over a two-year career and he now partners with a “point guard whisperer” in head coach Kenny Atkinson.
Just how effective Russell will be in year one is uncertain but it seems like a safe bet to think that he will improve his controversially poor efficiency and effort on the defensive end. Is he a star worthy of the No. 2 overall pick in the NBA Draft? Maybe not, but Russell’s tools remain impressive. Beyond that, he has the benefit of a fresh start in a place where the attention won’t be beaming down on him from the opening tip of the upcoming season and that could be helpful in his development.