30 teams in 30 days: Nets starting to put pieces together


30 teams in 30 days: Nets starting to put pieces together

We’ll take a look at all 30 teams in the next 30 days as they prepare for the 2017-2018 regular season, which is when the real fireworks begin! Today's team: Brooklyn Nets

It has been a long uphill battle for the Brooklyn Nets who are still paying – literally – for the 2013 draft night trade with Boston that has had an eclipse-like effect on their franchise with no signs of sunshine … until now.

Sean Marks, heading into his second full season as Brooklyn’s General Manager, has started to put together the pieces of what should be a much more competitive roster this season.

The centerpiece to Brooklyn’s turnaround will be D’Angelo Russell who was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I don’t know where his ceiling is,” Marks said during a Sirius radio interview recently with Joel Myers and Tim Legler. “We like his size. We like his passing ability. And the more I get to know D'Angelo, the more I like the person. We've spent a lot of time together and I think he fits with how we want to play. So, we're excited there.”

In addition to Russell, the Nets also added Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll and Timofey Mozgov.

Not the most exciting core of talent, for sure.

But the aforementioned players have all shown the ability to play in this league, and they join a Nets squad that returns Jeremy Lin, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Sean Kilpatrick and Caris LeVert.

Again, not the sexiest names on the NBA landscape, but that’s OK.

This team isn’t being built to win at a high level now.

More than anything else, they will look to build off the gritty play we saw last season that led to lots of losses in large part because other teams had better players.

Brooklyn will have many nights like that this season, but the talent level on the roster now is a step up from last season and because of that, look for the Nets to be more than just more competitive but actually more games.

Enough to make the playoffs?


Don’t see that happening.

But unlike last season, racking up wins over Brooklyn won’t come nearly as easy.

“We want to see progress every year,” Marks said. “I know Kenny does, I know I do. The fans demand it. So, I think now with the change in the roster —and the roster will continue to evolve here for the next couple of years for sure— they’ll see a direction in how we want to play, where we want to head (from) here.”

Key free agent/draft/trade additions: D’Angelo Russell (Los Angeles Lakers); DeMarre Carroll (Toronto); Allen Crabbe (Portland); Timofey Mozgov (Los Angeles Lakers).

Key losses: Brook Lopez (Los Angeles Lakers)

Rookies of note: Jarrett Allen.

Expectations: 32-50 (Fifth in the Atlantic Division, 12th in the East)

Celtics assistant McCarty to become coach at Evansville

AP Photo

Celtics assistant McCarty to become coach at Evansville

BOSTON – The first member of the Brad Stevens’ coaching tree is about to take off. Celtics assistant coach Walter McCarty is expected to be named head coach at Evansville University.

McCarty, an Evansville, Ind. native, was selected over a field of candidates that included former Indiana University standout Calbert Cheaney and David Ragland who, like McCarty, is an Evansville native.

The 6-foot-10 McCarty, a 10-year NBA veteran with seven-plus spent with the Celtics, has been part of Stevens’ coaching staff since 2013. The former Celtic has been a college assistant coach at Louisville (2007-2010) in addition to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers (2010-2011).


NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

NBC Sports Illustration

NBCSB Breakfast pod: How Jayson Tatum compares to Paul Pierce

1:25 - With half of the Celtics roster on the shelf, we’ve been able to see just how great a scorer Jayson Tatum can be. A. Sherrod Blakely, Mike Girardi and Trenni Kusnierek discuss how Tatum compares to Celtics legend, Paul Pierce.

5:35 - The NFL Competition Committee is giving it their best shot at modifying the ‘catch rule’ and Tom Curran, Kyle Draper and Hardy try to wrap their heads around the proposed changes.

11:02 - The Bruins clinched a playoff berth despite losing to the St. Louis Blues in overtime. Joe Haggerty joins Tom Giles to break down the game, which included another goal by Ryan Donato and a questionable call on a high hit on David Krejci.