Celtics

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

30_in_30_brookyln_nets_082717.jpg

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?

Nope.

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 sign guard P.J. Dozier to two-way contract

cp-celtics-pj-dozier-082118.jpg
AP Photo

Celtics sign guard P.J. Dozier to two-way contract

BOSTON -- The Boston Celtics have added another body to the roster with the signing of P.J. Dozier to a two-way contract. 
 
A 6-foot-7 guard, Dozier was on a two-way contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. The 21-year-old split time between the Thunder and its Gatorade League affiliate, the Oklahoma City Blue. With the Blue, Dozier appeared in 43 games (38 starts) and averaged 12.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals in 28.4 minutes while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 34.0 percent from 3-point range. 

Last season, he appeared in two games with the Thunder (against the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies on Feb. 8 and 11, respectively).
 
Dozier joins Walter Lemon Jr. as Boston’s second, two-way contract signing this offseason. 
 
Jabari Bird, who signed a two-way contract with the Celtics last season, had a strong Summer League showing and inked a multi-year deal with Boston during this offseason. 
 
Boston’s other two-way contract signee from last year, Kadeem Allen, was waived last month after a disappointing summer league showing.