Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell are expected to be the Brooklyn Nets’ backcourt starters in the 2017-18 NBA season as they aim to become a playoff contender in the Eastern Conference. However, if the two guards don’t mesh well, the Nets may consider making huge moves, and the latest rumors suggest that Lin could be on his way out of Brooklyn.
Before the 2017 NBA draft, the Brooklyn Nets engaged in a trade deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Nets traded Brook Lopez and the 27th pick (Kyle Kuzma) to the Lakers for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov. Despite shouldering Mozgov’s lucrative contract, Brooklyn acquired Russell, a former second overall pick, who could help them speed up the rebuilding process.
However, the 21-year-old guard plays the same position as Jeremy Lin, who served as the Nets’ starting point guard last season. Some people doubt Russell and Lin can coexist in the Nets’ backcourt since they both need the ball in their hands. Still, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson reportedly plans to use Lin and Russell as their backcourt starters in the upcoming 2017-18 NBA season.
If Atkinson’s experiment fails, the Nets could end up trading Jeremy Lin. In the preview analysis for the Brooklyn Nets, D’Angelo Russell is projected to be the Nets’ main option on the offensive end while Jeremy Lin will be serving as the secondary playmaker. Lin is expected to be used as trade bait if backcourt pairing with Russell doesn’t work.
Blasting News shared the same sentiment and cited an article written by Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Lewis believes Nets general manager Sean Marks is far from done in making roster moves. He revealed that D’Angelo Russell and Caris Levert are the only untouchables on the Nets’ roster.
Another rumor, citing ESPN’s Ryan Ruocco, suggests that even if the Nets do well in the 2017-18 NBA season, GM Sean Marks will still consider moving Jeremy Lin if they will get a good return. Lin will be a great addition to a team who needs a reliable backup point guard. However, in order to increase his trade value, the Asian-American guard should have a strong start this season.
In his first year in Brooklyn, Lin only played 36 games after suffering ankle and hamstring injuries. So far, there is no official confirmation if the Nets will really consider moving Lin. Their performance in the 2017-18 NBA season will surely play a major role in the Nets’ next move, especially with their goal to speed up the rebuilding process.
Will D’Angelo Russell Mesh Well With Jeremy Lin?
D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin were the starting point guards of their respective teams last season. Now that they are sharing the backcourt in Brooklyn, most people are wondering how they can coexist. Aside from having the same position, both guards need the ball in their hands.
However, Anthony Puccio of Nets Daily believes the pairing could work since they have different playing styles. Coach Kenny Atkinson’s offensive scheme could also maximize the effectiveness of Lin and Russell as the Nets’ backcourt starters.
“Both players thrive off of dribble penetration, but in different manifestations. Lin excels using his speed, body control and ability to finish through contact at the rim. Russell is slick, possessing a tight handle and tremendous creativity as a playmaker. While the two both need the ball in their hands to be truly effective, their pairing may force defenses to pick their poison,” Puccio wrote.
Adam Fromal of Bleacher Report recently ranked all 30 NBA teams backcourt starters in the 2017-18 NBA season. The Nets’ backcourt of Russell and Lin ranked 19th and projected to be better than Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope of the Los Angeles Lakers. As of now, everything is in Lin and Russell’s hands to prove their doubters wrong. If they surpass the expectations from them, the Nets could finally return to the Eastern Conference playoffs this season.
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