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’ Caris LeVert Could Return to Action by All-Star Break
LeVert is closing in on a return to five-on-five practices, and the team is optimistic he will be ready to hit the court again soon.
LeVert suffered a dislocated foot back in November and has been out of action since.
Nets Sign Mitch Creek To 10-Day Contract
The Brooklyn Nets have signed Austrailian forward Mitch Creek to a 10-day contract, officially promoting him from their G League affiliate.
Creek earned an All-NBL Second Team nod for his performance last season, when he averaged 14.8 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 2.5 APG in 31 games for the 36ers.
This season, while playing for the Long Island Nets, Creek is posting 14.4 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 2.2 APG.
Nets to Re-Sign Alan Williams
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Williams has decided to remain in the United States following complications that popped up during hit contract negotiations with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Williams was having quite the season in the G League,
averaging 21.0 points per game and a league-leading 14.7 rebounds per contest.
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