The Brooklyn Nets are trying to stir up excitement over the apparent rebuild that the franchise is currently undergoing.
Nets forward Timofey Mozgov is doing his part to create some hype for this upcoming season by talking up his new teammate D’Angelo Russell.
The Nets acquires third-year guard from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for center Brook Lopez.
Mozgov is looking forward to playing alongside Russell in Brooklyn.
“He’s going to shoot threes a lot because he’s a really, really good shooter first of all” Mozgov said (h/t Tass.ru’s Andrey Kartashov).
“He’s really talented and I hope he’s going to feed me.”
Its not hard to envision a big season for Russell, who is looking for a fresh start after a rocky start to his NBA career while a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Brooklyn is also hoping that Russell morphs into a franchise cornerstone as the team builds towards the future.
Nets’ Kenny Atkinson Says ‘Tanking is Not a Word We Use’
The Brooklyn Nets have had a rough couple of seasons, some of which they clearly looked like a team that was tanking with 21, 20, and 28 win seasons over the past three years, but head coach Kenny Atkinson says that tanking is not a part of the franchise’s rebuilding plan.
Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks are trying to build a winner for the future, and while tanking may be a word associated with a team in the cellar of the Eastern Conference standings, it’s not a word Atkinson would use.
“No, because we’ve never talked about tanking,” Atkinson said, according to The Athletic’s Michael Scotto. “Sean and I, I’m just going to be honest, internally we don’t use the word. We don’t talk about it. We talk about internal improvement. We talk about player development. We talk about culture, but tanking is not a word we use. It’s just not in our…I don’t think the fans in New York want to see that.”
Marks has spent the past few seasons stocking up on high end draft picks and utilizing the draft to fill the roster, but the Nets aim to be players in the 2018-2019 free agency period and a marked improvement in the win column could help lure players to the Big Apple next summer.
“That’s the dream, right, the quantum leap,” Atkinson said. “I think that’s the big goal in the sky. I also think we’ve been making solid steps and solid improvements. I’d be happy with that too, but we understand what you’re saying about the quantum leap. I think our players see that it’s a possibility. I do think we have to come to it in a humble way too. We only won 28 games last year, an eight-game improvement, which is good and is hard in the NBA. I’d take another eight or 10-game improvement. That would be fantastic.”
Nets, Knicks Targeting Kyrie Irving
According to the New York Times’ Marc Stein, there are already “credible rumblings” that the Knicks and Nets will pursue Irving, whose “intentions are not at all clear at this point”, should the All-Star guard hit the free agent market next July.
“There have been no firm indications from Irving or his camp that the All-Star guard is eyeing an exit from Boston next summer or that he’s angling to go to New York—as is often speculated,” Stein said.
Irving posted averaged 24.4 points, 5.1 assists during his first season with the Celtics.
Suns Trade Jared Dudley to Nets for Darrell Arthur
The Phoenix Suns and the Brooklyn Nets have completed a trade that will send veteran forward Jared Dudley and a top-35 protected 2021 second-round pick to Brooklyn for Darrell Arthur, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The move seems to be for financial purposes.
Arthur has an expiring deal of $7.46M and is likely to be bought out by Phoenix and Dudley, who has a $9.53M expiring contract is likely to be bought out as well.
The deal seems to indicate that another trade is on the horizon for the Suns, who will have $3M in cap space after all is said an done, including buyouts, and could use other roster moves to create additional space.
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