It’s only the All-Star break, but it’s safe to say the Nets’ 2015-16 season is a lost cause. Brooklyn (14-40) is one of two teams in the Eastern Conference — the 76ers are the other — with no realistic chance to make the playoffs.
But there’s reason to monitor the Nets during the final 28 games. Here’s what the team should be looking to do before the end of April.
Six Nets — or 40% of the roster — are younger than 25 years old. That includes 2015 first-round picks Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Chris McCullough. RHJ is still weeks away, at least, from a returning after ankle surgery, but Bronx-born McCullough made his return from a torn ACL just before the break.
Once at full strength, interim coach Tony Brown should give them as many minutes as they can handle and let them adjust to playing at this level.
There’s no point in entering the Ben Simmons Sweepstakes in an attempt to draft the top prospect; the Nets’ first-round pick in June belongs to the Celtics.
With no benefit to losing, it’s imperative that the Nets show up to play every night, even as teams like the Sixers can find a silver lining in a miserable season.
No player on the Nets is untradeable right now, and that includes All-Star snub Brook Lopez.
Brooklyn should be looking to acquire as many draft picks and young players with upside as it can. Thaddeus Young is the most frequent name in trade rumors, and he certainly could yield a 2016 first-rounder.