The Brooklyn Nets just pulled off the heist of the offseason with a deal involving the Toronto Raptors. For a Nets team that’s short on talent and long on youth, this was a deal the team needed to happen. But what happens now? For starters, the Nets once again struck out in the Free Agent race. For the second straight year and for the 3rd consecutive player they have offered an offer sheet to they have been matched. Last year it was Tyler Johnson and Allen Crabbe of the Miami Heat and Portland Trail Blazers and this year it was Otto Porter Jr of the Washington Wizards. Maybe the Raptors felt sorry so they handed them a get well soon gift in the form of DeMarre Carroll.
But was it really a gift?
The Raptors sent Carroll to Brooklyn and two draft picks for Center Justin Hamilton. Yes, you read that correctly. Barely used Hamilton for a 1st, 2nd round picks and Carroll. Needless to say, Nets fans are ecstatic right now. And they have every right to be as they are watching a rebuild and just got what could amount to be three very important pieces. Carroll will join D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov as the new guys on the team who will look to lead the Nets back to respectability. It won’t be easy with a team who won 20 games and finished as the worst in the league then had to watch as the Boston Celtics took their No. 1 pick. Ouch.
Well, this is a new year and the Carroll trade has provided new hope. There will be no playoffs but it will be exciting to see the new core of players the Nets will display on Atlantic Ave in 2017.
The big question is– which Carroll will the Nets get?
There are two Carroll’s. There is the former All-Purpose player for the Atlanta Hawks who helped lead that team to 60 wins in 2014 with averages of 13 points, 5 rebounds on 49 percent shooting while hitting 40 percent of his three-point attempts. Solid numbers for the breakout player. He then signed a FA contract with the Raptors and never fully regained that shooting touch he had in Atlanta.
While with the Raptors for two seasons, Carroll managed to average 9 points and 4 rebounds on 40 percent shooting and never seemed to really fit in with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan in Toronto. A move had to be made and it’s clear that he was the odd man out. With the Nets, he gets a new lease on his NBA life. However, there’s no telling what he will do with the opportunity. Will he be the shooter he was while in Atlanta or be the passive player who deferred to Lowry and DeRozan in Toronto?
For the Nets, he has to take charge. Russell is still a little wet behind the ears and players such as Caris LeVert, Sean Kilpatrick, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, the team will need all the vet guidance they can get. If Carroll can gain some chemistry with Russell in the preseason then he has a chance to average in the 20 point range as the primary scorer for the Nets. If Carroll struggles then the Nets can use him as trade bait for additional draft picks during the trade deadline as Carroll will be a free agent in 2019.
This was a great deal as the Nets have the cap space to swallow his deal and still hope that he can provide outside scoring for a team that desperately needs it. If it doesn’t work– what did the Nets really lose?