The Brooklyn Nets are set to start preseason play soon and news and rumors are ramping up ahead of that and the regular season.
Check out the latest buzz below.
Bogdanovic to Start?
The Nets have four players locked into the starting lineup–Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez–but are still looking for a fifth starter.
Tim Bontemps of the New York Post said that Bojan Bogdanovic has spent some time during recent practices as part of the starting five.
“That starting group with Bogdanovic looked very good offensively. He’ll get a lot of wide open looks in the corner for three,” he noted.
Alan Anderson seems to be the other contender for the job after Andrei Kirilenko suffered an injury recently.
Williams Impressing Observers
Point guard Williams has been earning rave reviews during training camp, from the limited portion that reports have been able to see.
“Deron Williams is impressive in 5 on 5 scrimmage,” reported Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
“Deron Williams looks really, really good,” added blogger Devin Kharpertian.
Williams seems to be a fan of new coach Lionel Hollins, who will be more direct with his players than Jason Kidd was.
“Deron said one of the things Lionel Hollins told the players today was that they’ll have defined roles. Said they’ll know what he’ll expect,” reported Rod Boone of Newsday.
Plumlee Looking for Bigger Role
Mason Plumlee somehow was included on the FIBA World Cup team that won the tournament, though he didn’t get much playing time.
But his time in practice, and other work in the offseason, has prompted the former Duke player to look for more playing time this year with the Nets.
“Last year, I was fixated with getting on the floor. I didn’t want to spend a year not playing, and then the focus changed last year once I got on the floor,” Plumlee told the Post.
“[First], it was like, ‘All right, I want my plus-minus to be great. I might not score, I might not get an assist, but my plus-minus is gonna be great.’ Then when I was starting, it was like, ‘When I start, we’re winning.’ … It evolves real quick.”
Plumlee said he doesn’t mind not starting, and wants to bring toughness and rebounding when he’s on the floor. He also wants to shoot more after being told by Kidd not to shoot the ball apart from dunks of layups.
Garnett Wants to Enjoy Last Season
Kevin Garnett is widely expected to retire after this season, and wants to enjoy it.
Garnett also says that he feels more comfortable with Hollins, an “old school” coach.
“I’m going to be a lot more aggressive, but then letting the coach know I’m not 18. If you can, let’s be on the same page as far as minutes and stuff like that, just so I have something to give,” he told Newsday.
“I prepared myself this offseason. Last year, I was indecisive in what I wanted to do with the decision-making. This year, I knew exactly what I wanted to do and I did that throughout the whole summer. So I’m in better spirits because I know what I’m here to do this year and I’m here to enjoy this. You never know when it’s going to be your last.”
Nets Owner May Sell Majority Control
Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov may sell majority control of the team.
Sources confirmed the interest to ESPN, including talks with Guggenheim Partners.
A source also confirmed that Prokhorov met recently with Los ANgeles Dodgers minority owner and Guggenheim executive Todd Boehly in Russia.
“Prokhorov’s tenure as owner has been defined by his incredible willingness to spend a fortune to win, but sources say the Russian hasn’t been thrilled with the team’s financial losses,” the report noted.
The Nets’ have paid almost $200 million in luxury taxes in the past two years, with a projection reaching $130 million this year.
Brown Showing Athleticism
Rookie Markel Brown, a 6’3″ combo guard from Oklahoma State, is impressing teammates and coaches with his athleticism.
Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN described a scene at practice this week.
“Brown drove baseline and threw down a thunderous one-handed dunk in traffic, the perfect way to end practice.”
“Shut the practice down,” Williams said. “Shut it down. We have seen a couple [of his dunks in practice but] not like this.”