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Nets Roster Situation Is Bad But Not That Bad

Some have declared that the Brooklyn Nets are on the verge of a roster meltdown.

Brooklyn was built to win this year. Beyond that not so much. Now that they have been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs there are some serious questions surrounding this roster that was built to win now and has failed.

The Nets had the best roster money can by.  Their $102 million payroll was the highest in the NBA. They had all the tools to win: Brook Lopez, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and a young (by coaches’ standards) Jason Kidd coaching. Kidd is a coach who remembers what it was like to actually play the game. All that was not good enough.

Granted, the Nets did not have the ideal season with their elite roster. Their best player, Lopez went down with an injury in January and was out for the season. That left Johnson to carry the load and he did so efficiently.

The Nets could have beat the Miami Heat. They did it four times in the regular season and were ahead in the fourth quarter in three of the five games in their playoff series, but they just couldn’t finish the job.

Other teams, like the Toronto Raptors and Portland Trail Blazers, were eliminated from the playoffs but still have a lot to be excited about. They have a young roster that will likely only continue to get better.  That is not the case with the Nets. You would be hard pressed to find a player under the age of 29 in their 11-man rotation.

Meanwhile, Paul Pierce, 37, is a free agent and says he is not sure where he will be playing next season. Andray Blatche also said he would be declining a $1.4 million player option next season.

Garnett is guaranteed $12 million to play next season. However, he is 38 years old and after only being able to play an average of 20 minutes per game and missing March with back pain. He may be considering retirement over the money.

Then there is the health issue. We have already covered Lopez, but another Nets star is also set to go under knife. Deron Williams will reportedly be having ankle surgery during his off time.

So Brooklyn has a wildly expensive roster that leaves them no cap room. Did we also mention that the Nets have no draft pick? Because that is also a thing.

Where does that leave the Nets’ roster? Not in a good position. The best they could hope for is to return their core players and make another go at it next season. That may not be as bad as it sounds, despite all the doom and gloom laid out above.

Every other contending Eastern Conference team has their own unique set of roster difficulties to face at the end of their run, so Brooklyn is not in a boat by itself.

Besides, they were a team built to win. Returning their core only means they keep that same team, who’s oldest starter has at least has one more year of quality playing left in him (We are looking at you Garnett).

The Nets roster situation is not unprecedented, unusual or disastrous. It is just not ideal, which does not move as many papers as the hyperbolic description of a “roster meltdown.”

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