LAS VEGAS – Winning rosters aren’t random, they’re made.
Or in the case of the Nets, rebuilt.
The last few seasons the Nets were built around honing their superstars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
But after both were dealt at the trade deadline last season, the roster was fragmented.
And the Nets’ moves this offseason — and comments from head coach Jack Vaughn — show they are being rebuilt in a completely different way.
“Overall I think you’re seeing a change in the mindset of our team,” Vaughn said at the Nets’ NBA Summer League opening ceremony on Friday night. “No Patty [Mills]no seth [Curry]no who [Harris]not Utah [Watanabe], So overall, just a little bit of the transition that we talked about at the end of the year, I think you’re starting to see that as an organization.
Anyone watching can see that there is a shift away from the one-dimensional shooters surrounding the stars (of that late quartet, Mills, Curry and Harris were all at least 31 years old and low-level defenders. ) and has more of a mix of athleticism, defense, and youth.
Not to mention roster flexibility for the future.
“Yes, [it’s] A combination,” Vaughan said about the change in timetable from 30-something stars to players between the ages of 24 and 27 growing up together. “I think we’re still [have] Our best versatility and guys we can throw on the floor.
“We’ve got two 18-year-olds who are part of our program now, and Jalen Wilson, a second-round pick, who has experience and has won at a higher level, so I’m looking forward to seeing That’s what he can do … But I think overall, we’ve just focused on moving forward together and being able to be good and maximize what we have on the roster right now, but also Looking to the future as well.
The 18-year-olds Vaughan mentioned are Noah Clowney and Derrick Whitehead, the Nets’ first-round picks from last month’s draft.
The two youngest draftees in franchise history to contribute, they may both need time to benefit from new developments in the coaching staff. However, as it is, the rotation has become much smaller in the post-Durant era.
Newly re-signed Cam Johnson is 27, Mikal Bridges is 26 and Nick Claxton is just 24.
Vaughn also included rehabilitating 26-year-old Ben Simmons in that corps.
“The four you mentioned – Spencer Dinwiddie as well; Now he’s the biggest politician at 30 and a 20-point scorer in the league — but Cam Johnson, Mikal Bridges, Ben Simmons, Nick Claxton, it’s us guys 24 to 27 years old who are going to be . Being able to grow together defines the culture, Vaughn told NBA TV. “It’s a constant culture that we want: to be constant teammates, to be constant competitors. So they will get a chance to define the culture going forward.”
The Nets like their catchphrases, and the “relentless culture” can last. If he wins, it will not even be used sarcastically.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Nets went into last season as the NBA’s 6th oldest team and finished with the 10th oldest. After splitting from Mills (34), Curry (32) and Harris (31), they became young and are now middle-aged.
Dinwiddie, Royce O’Neill and Dorian Finney-Smith are now their three oldest players, all turning 30 in the past few months.
O’Neale and Finney-Smith have been mentioned in trade rumours. The Nets’ recent free-agent signings, Lonnie Walker IV (24) and Dennis Smith Jr. (25), are young and defensive minded.
“Take where you have the group right now and how you can grow together,” Vaughn told NBA TV. “Don’t look two steps ahead, what might happen, what might happen two years from now. I think where we are as a team, you take it, really sink into it and I think that’s where the growth happens.