Brooklyn Nets: Andrei Kirilenko

Kirilenko: Starter or bench, I'm not worried

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
On Monday, Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins said Kevin Garnett will start at power forward this season. Factor in presumed starters Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez, and there is one spot seemingly up for grabs.

If Hollins decides to go the traditional route, Andrei Kirilenko would be a candidate to start. Mirza Teletovic, Alan Anderson or Jarrett Jack are other options Hollins could pick from to join the starting five.

Kirilenko, who completed his 12th year in the NBA last season, has started 546 games during his career. But when he came to the Nets in 2013-14, Kirilenko didn’t care if he started or came off the bench. He just wanted to get consistent minutes.

And that stance hasn’t changed heading into the 2014-15 campaign. “If the coach wants me in the starting lineup, he’s going to put me in the starting lineup. If he wants me to come of the bench, I will come off the bench. I’ve never had a problem to be the guy who’s worried about the position. I’m more worried about the game time,” Kirilenko told reporters at D-Will’s Celebrity Dodge Barrage charity event in Manhattan.

“If you’re playing 25-30 minutes a game, it doesn’t matter where you’re coming from: the bench or the the starting lineup, that’s the only concern I have.”

Kirilenko’s minutes fluctuated frequently under former coach Jason Kidd. In the playoffs, they looked like this: 0, 20, 17, 15, 4, 14, 3, 13, 0, 19, 15, 26.

[+] EnlargeAndrei Kirilenko
Nathaniel S. ButlerGetty ImagesAndrei Kirilenko, a 12-year veteran, has started 546 games in his career.
For his career, Kirilenko has averaged 30.2 minutes per game. In Brooklyn, he averaged 19 minutes during the regular season.

When asked if he believes he’ll have a better, more solid understanding of his role under Hollins, Kirilenko responded, “I’m 100 percent sure it’s gonna be different.”

Most professional athletes like consistency. They like to know their role. It makes perfect sense.

Kirilenko was supposed to have a huge impact last season. He did sporadically. But persistent back injuries caused him to miss 37 games.

Asked how he feels, Kirilenko responded, “pretty good,” adding that he has been working out with his teammates and coaches at the team’s practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J.

Kirilenko likes that Hollins’ teams in Memphis always played “structured basketball,” and believes the coach will bring that structure to Brooklyn.

Throughout his career, Kirilenko has been known for his versatility and unique ability to guard multiple positions. He plays with energy and enthusiasm.

Hollins, a defensive-minded coach, will probably enjoy having Kirilenko on his roster -- assuming the 33-year-old can stay healthy, of course.

D-Will surprised by Kidd's departure

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
NEW YORK –- Deron Williams was expected to flourish with Jason Kidd coaching him from the sideline.

Instead, Williams and Kidd’s partnership in Brooklyn lasted just one season, after Kidd departed for Milwaukee in late June.

Williams said the two haven’t spoken since Kidd left.

[+] EnlargeKidd/Williams
Rob Carr/Getty ImagesDeron Williams, left, said he hasn't spoken to Jason Kidd since the ex-Nets coach abruptly departed.
“I think it surprised everybody,” Williams said at his Celebrity Dodge Barrage charity event at Basketball City. “I don’t think anybody saw that coming. It was out of nowhere.”

A year ago, Williams and Kidd were about to begin their first season together as player and coach. Kidd was supposed to get Williams back to playing like an elite point guard.

Williams, though, was not healthy and had issues with his ankle going into training camp. He would need surgery on both of his ankles after the season.

Williams said he is looking forward to being healthy and ready to go for the start of camp Sept. 27.

“Last year was tough," Williams said. "I missed pretty much all of training camp, most of the preseason. I practiced one time, played nine minutes in a preseason game and was thrown into the fire. I was probably about 60 to 70 percent. It is definitely different this year. I think it’s great that I will be able to participate in training camp and I am practicing with the guys right now.”

"[Returning to All-Star form is] definitely the plan," he continued. "Anytime you can’t walk, you can’t run, you can’t jump, it’s hard to play basketball, especially in this league. The only thing I wish is that I would’ve gotten surgery earlier. But what can you do? ... I’m ready to go now, and I’m excited about the season."

Williams is looking forward to forging a “great relationship” with new coach Lionel Hollins. But he also wishes Kidd the best.

“I don’t even know enough about the situation,” Williams said when asked whether he was disappointed to see Kidd leave. “I have heard a lot of different things, as you guys probably have. I don’t know what exactly happened, but we are excited about Lionel Hollins being our next coach. We wish J-Kidd the best of luck in Milwaukee, but we are excited about Lionel.”

Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge -- Williams held his annual Dodgeball charity event, and several of his teammates joined him. Andrei Kirilenko, Mason Plumlee, Jarrett Jack, Markel Brown, Cory Jefferson, Sergey Karasev and coach Hollins were among those who attended the event.

Burning Q's: Who's the most vital sub?

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
Jaret JackDon Emmert/AFP/Getty ImagesCan Jarrett Jack forget his Cavs days and recapture the game he displayed at Golden State?
With training camp a few weeks away, we’re examining the burning questions facing the Brooklyn Nets.

Today’s question: Who is the Nets’ most important bench player?

In his first season as a Net, Jarrett Jack will be the most important sub for Lionel Hollins.

The Nets are hoping Jack can be the super-sub that he was for the Golden State Warriors. Jack averaged 12.9 points and 5.6 assists while hitting 45.2 percent of his shots just two seasons ago, and he hit big shots in the postseason for Golden State.


Who will be the Nets' most important bench player?


Discuss (Total votes: 410)

Last season, Jack’s averages dipped to 9.5 points, 4.1 assists and 41 percent shooting for the Cavaliers. Jack is eager to show that his down season was more a product of his role and the offensive system in Cleveland.

With the Nets, Jack could be Hollins’ sixth man. He can spell Deron Williams at point guard and run the second unit. He also could potentially play alongside Williams.

In many ways, Jack will have to replace Shaun Livingston, who signed with Golden State in July; he could play multiple positions and often played alongside Williams.

The Nets have plenty of key contributors coming off the bench this season. Mason Plumlee is looking to continue his rise after helping Team USA win gold at the World Cup. With Brook Lopez coming off surgery and Kevin Garnett likely playing on minutes restriction this season, Plumlee will be a key big for the Nets and should see more minutes than his rookie season.

Andrei Kirilenko will be needed to provide energy, defense and his unique hustle plays. Mirza Teletovic will be looking to show that last season’s breakout year was no fluke and that he will continue to provide dead-eye shooting. And Alan Anderson should play a key role as Hollins’ best defender off the bench.

The Nets also hope to develop youngsters like Bojan Bogdanovic, Sergey Karasev and Markel Brown.

But Jack will be needed to provide a bit of everything. He has to give the team a boost off the bench, be able to heat up and hit some big shots, spell Williams, be ready to play both guard positions, and give the team an edge and provide some leadership with the second unit.

With Williams coming off surgeries on his ankles, Jack could see a bigger role early in the season and provide the Nets with a potential starter if Williams needs a night to rest his ankles. If Jack plays the way he did two seasons ago for the Warriors, the Nets will be thrilled with their offseason acquisition.

Question: Who do you think is the Nets' most important bench player?

Burning Q's: Can Plumlee take next step?

August, 27, 2014
Aug 27
With training camp less than two months away, we’re examining the burning questions facing the Brooklyn Nets.

Today’s question: Will Mason Plumlee take the next step?

In some ways, Plumlee is in the process of taking that next step already. Making the final Team USA roster has been the type of experience for Plumlee that is simply priceless for the Nets.


Will Mason Plumlee take the next step this season?


Discuss (Total votes: 412)

Think about it: How does Plumlee spend a pivotal summer entering his second pro season? By practicing daily against the likes of Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Kenneth Faried and Andre Drummond, while playing alongside and learning from stars like James Harden, Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry. And he’s being coached by Mike Krzyzewski, Tom Thibodeau and Jim Boeheim.

Sure, his experience playing for Coach K at Duke helped his cause. But give Plumlee some credit. The bottom line is he made a very talented roster. All Plumlee can do is get better from this. Without a doubt, his confidence is going to rise.

After averaging 7.4 points and 4.4 rebounds, largely contributing with his energy and athleticism off the bench, as a rookie, Plumlee returns for his second season with the Nets knowing he can compete against some of the best young big men in the game.

Even if he doesn’t play much in the FIBA World Cup, Plumlee has spent his entire summer playing, working on his game and learning from the best.

Plumlee has worked on his midrange jumper, a facet of his game that he must add to complement his rebounding and athletic, above-the-rim game inside. Plumlee also has to work on his back-to-the-basket game, as well.

The one downside of Plumlee being with the Nets is that he won’t play heavy starter-type minutes with Brook Lopez returning and Kevin Garnett expected to return.

Plumlee isn’t expected to start unless Lopez and Garnett get hurt. It's always possible he could see some starts if Lopez and Garnett are rested, especially on back-to-backs. He's capable of playing both center and power forward. Also, Andray Blatche isn't around to take up minutes.

Lionel Hollins should find Plumlee enough time to contribute and develop. And after this summer’s valuable Team USA experience, Plumlee will return and be surrounded by veterans like Lopez, Garnett and Andrei Kirilenko for a second season.

The 22nd overall pick from last year became a surprise contributor. This season, Plumlee will have an even more defined role, should see more minutes and should have chances to prove himself as a starter when Lopez and Garnett get rested. That all leads to a step in the right direction for Plumlee, whose career is on the rise.

Question: Do you believe Plumlee will take the next step this season?

Burning Q's: Can Brooklyn rebound?

August, 18, 2014
Aug 18
Last season, the Nets finished second-to-last in both rebounds per game and rebound rate (the percentage of missed shots that a team rebounds). Only the Los Angeles Lakers were worse in those categories.

Former coach Jason Kidd was asked about his team’s inability to rebound all year long, but the problem never went away. The Nets, who began thriving when they went small/long, were able to somewhat overcome that weakness because of their ability to force turnovers, but it definitely hurt them.

So how did they go about fixing their rebounding problem this summer?

[+] EnlargeKevin Garnett
AP Photo/Kathy WillensKevin Garnett led the Nets in rebounding in 2013-14, averaging just 6.6 rebounds per game.
Umm ... Well ... they didn’t.

Therefore, it’s going to have to be rectified internally. The hope is that new coach Lionel Hollins can help in the rebounding department.

In his final three seasons in Memphis, the Grizzlies finished second (2009-10), tied for ninth (10-11) and 11th (11-12) in rebounding rate.

The difference, of course, is that Hollins no longer has board-snatchers like Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol at his disposal.

Kevin Garnett, who is expected to return for his 20th season in 2014-15, averaged just 6.6 rebounds per game last season, which led the team. Brook Lopez, who is coming off foot and ankle surgery, averaged 6.0 rebounds in just 17 games. Andray Blatche (5.3) and Paul Pierce (4.5) are gone.

The onus, then, falls on Lopez, who has never been a great rebounder, Mason Plumlee (4.4) and Andrei Kirilenko (2.3), who was hurt most of last season, to really step up and grab some caroms next season. Perhaps rookie Corey Jefferson figures in the mix as well.

We asked ESPN Stats & Information (via the Elias Sports Bureau) to provide some perspective on Garnett being the team’s leading returning rebounder given his low average.

Garnett’s average (6.6) was the lowest among leaders in the NBA (min. 50 games played). It was also the lowest by a team leader in a season since the shortened 2011-12 season (min. 40 games played): Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte (5.8) and Tristan Thompson, Cleveland (6.5).

Rebounding is obviously a key aspect of basketball. Hollins is known to utilize more traditional two-big-men lineups, which should help. And if Lopez and Plumlee improve and Kirilenko stays healthy, that should help as well.

But this rebounding problem is definitely something that could haunt the Nets if they don’t fix it.

Position analysis: Power Forward

August, 4, 2014
Aug 4
Kevin Garnett, Mirza TeletovicDavid Sherman/NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Garnett and Mirza Teletovic are likely candidates for starting power forward.
Now that free agency has died down, we’re taking a look at where the Nets currently stand position-by-position. Today, we look at power forward.


New additions: PF Cory Jefferson

Returning/on roster: PF/C Kevin Garnett, SF/PF Mirza Teletovic, PF/C Mason Plumlee, SF/PF Andrei Kirilenko

Gone: PF/C Andray Blatche (remains unsigned)

The starter: The Nets could go a number of different ways here. If we had to venture a guess, it’s Teletovic or Garnett. But there are so many factors in play.

The wild card: Plumlee. He could start, too. It sounds as though Plumlee has the inside track on making Team USA for the FIBA World Cup in Spain. He had a terrific first season in the NBA, and the hope is he only gets better next season. Plumlee is an athletic big man who does much of his scoring around the basket -- mostly via dunks. He obviously needs to improve his defense and his jump shot. But the Nets really like him. He’s a great guy, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he emerged as the starter.

Outlook: All indications are -- both publicly and privately -- that Garnett is going to return for his 20th season. But how much will he be able to play? That’s where a young player like Plumlee enters the equation. Teletovic made huge strides in his second NBA season, and he might work well in tandem with Kirilenko. Kirilenko can play multiple positions, so he could probably play some four if coach Lionel Hollins decides to go small or with an unorthodox type of lineup. Jefferson, Mr. Irrelevant, had a nice Summer League, though his contract is only partially guaranteed, so he might have to prove himself in training camp in order to make the team. A big issue for this group, and we’ll touch on this in more depth down the road, is who is going to rebound? The Nets struggled mightily in that category last season, and didn’t add any real rebounding in the offseason. They have to hope that they can rebound as a team, and that some of their players make strides as far as board-snagging is concerned.

Position analysis: Small Forward

August, 1, 2014
Aug 1
Andrei KirilenkoAP Photo/Frank Franklin IIAndrei Kirilenko can defend multiple positions and facilitate the offense as a passer.
Now that free agency has died down, we’re taking a look at where the Nets currently stand position-by-position. Today, we look at shooting guard.


New additions: SF Bojan Bogdanovic

Returning/on roster: SF/PF Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF Mirza Teletovic, SG/SF Joe Johnson, SG/SF Alan Anderson, SG/SF Sergey Karasev

Gone: SF/PF Paul Pierce

The starter: Kirilenko or Teletovic. That is unless, as we noted in our shooting guard analysis, Deron Williams and Jarrett Jack start in the backcourt, in which case Johnson would move to the three spot.

The wild card: Bogdanovic. The Nets are extremely high on the 25-year-old rookie, whom they signed to a three-year, $10 million contract in the offseason. They acquired his rights in a draft night deal in 2011. He’s a 6-8 Croatian sharpshooter with a lot of potential. The way Brooklyn’s roster is constructed, it would appear that Bogdanovic is going to get a shot to contribute immediately. He said earlier this week numerous times that he feels he can do that.

Outlook: It feels like there is a lot of versatility at this position, a lot of guys who can do different things. Kirilenko can defend multiple positions and facilitate the offense as a passer. Teletovic, who could conceivably start at power forward, is a floor spacer, as is Bogdanovic. You know what you’re going to get from Johnson, who was dynamite in the playoffs last season. Anderson is a “D and 3” type player who is tough as nails. And Karasev has a lot of potential. The Nets viewed Pierce as a power forward at this juncture of his career, but he did play some small forward. Last season, Johnson moved to the three after Brook Lopez suffered a season-ending injury and Shaun Livingston was inserted into the starting lineup. Johnson was extremely potent out of the low post, both as a scorer and facilitator. When it comes to this position on the floor, Bogdanovic’s development is really going to be key. Perhaps -- and we emphasis perhaps -- he could even be the starter by season’s end.

Kirilenko: I have no negativity towards Kidd

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
Brooklyn Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko said he does not harbor any animosity toward Jason Kidd for leaving the Nets to become the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks.

Kirilenko was quoted as being critical of Kidd in an interview with Russian tabloid newspaper SovSport in its Sunday editions. His comments were translated by multiple American media outlets.

[+] EnlargeNets
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrei Kirilenko said he doesn't harbor any animosity toward former coach Jason Kidd.
“It sounds in the article like I have a negativity [about Jason leaving], but that’s completely untrue,” Kirilenko told Monday by telephone. “We’ve been discussing why it happened -- because I don’t know why it happened -- but we’re just speculating. We don’t know what the real reason is from Jason’s point-of-view.”

“It’s tough to kind of judge him because he obviously came into a lot of pressure,” Kirilenko said. “New York is a city with a lot of legends and a lot of history, and every move you make is under a microscope. So I guess it’s easier for the coach to start [fresh] with a younger group of guys, with his own vision, in a smaller city where you don’t have that much pressure. And I think that’s what Jason’s doing now.”

Kidd was named head coach of the Nets last offseason just weeks after announcing his retirement as a player. The Nets, besieged by injury and struggling to adapt to Kidd’s system, got off to a 10-21 start. But they turned it around, going 34-17 the rest of the way and reaching the second round of the playoffs, where they were eliminated in five games by the Miami Heat.

In late June, Kidd approached Russian ownership about adding final say in player personnel decisions to his head coaching duties, but that request was denied. The Nets then granted Kidd permission to speak with the Bucks. Brooklyn ultimately traded Kidd’s coaching rights to Milwaukee in exchange for a pair of future second-round picks. The Nets quickly hired Lionel Hollins to replace Kidd.

Kirilenko signed a two-year contract with the Nets for $6.5 million, but he was plagued by injuries and sporadic playing time in his first season in Brooklyn. The 33-year-old, who gladly accepted a reserve role after being a starter throughout his career, missed 37 games during the regular season -- mostly due to back issues. He wasn’t able to have the same impact on the court that he did when playing for the Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves.

“It’s tough when you’re sitting on the bench and you don’t have a chance to help your teammates,” said Kirilenko, who lives in Europe during the offseason. “But when I came to the team I was ready for this, and I spoke with Jason right at the beginning of the year, and I knew what I was sacrificing. We had a goal and all those veteran pieces came together, but sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Kirilenko, who opted into the second year of his contract for 2014-15, said he believes the Nets will be able to come back stronger this season.

“I think we still have the same goals,” Kirilenko said of the Nets trying to make a championship run. “I think we lost a key piece in Paul Pierce, but I still think with Brook [Lopez] healthy we can make that run.”

Kirilenko says he has not had much of a chance to speak with Hollins just yet, but spoke highly of his new head coach.

“[Lionel is] known as a defensive specialist,” said Kirilenko, who can guard multiple positions. “I know he was great in Memphis and built a great system, which they still play there with a lot of ball movement, using their bigs a lot, not just playing through the post but using them as passers kind of like what Chicago is doing with [Joakim] Noah right now. It’s very unselfish basketball, which I love to play. I like it, and hopefully we can do the same in Brooklyn.”

(Read full post)

Pierce's exit means opportunity for some

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16
Paul Pierce’s departure means opportunity for other players on the Brooklyn Nets next season. Let’s take a look at five Nets who could have a greater impact in 2014-15.

Mason Plumlee: Plumlee continued where he left off last season during Summer League, showing his explosiveness and athleticism. The hope is that Plumlee will take another positive step forward, improving his rebounding and defense. Perhaps he'll be able to add the threat of a jump shot to his offensive arsenal, which mostly included efficient scoring in the paint -- mostly via dunks. With Brook Lopez coming off foot and ankle surgery and Kevin Garnett likely playing in his 20th NBA season, Plumlee should get plenty of minutes. Maybe he’ll even start.

Mirza Teletovic: Teletovic made quite the jump in his second year in the NBA. He didn’t play much early on, but got his opportunity as a result of injuries to some of his teammates. He took full advantage, shooting with confidence and displaying a swagger on the floor. Teletovic figures to be a nice asset for Hollins to have at his disposal.

Andrei Kirilenko: Kirilenko’s first season with the Nets was derailed by injuries in 2013-14. His playing time was inconsistent. But if he’s healthy, Kirilenko seems like a Lionel Hollins kind of player. He’s very versatile and capable of playing and guarding multiple positions. Kirilenko is an excellent facilitator and seems to always get his hands on the ball. He likes to wreak havoc on the court. You’d think he’ll have a more expansive role in 2014-15.

Bojan Bogdanovic: The key here is patience. Expectations should be tempered. The 25-year-old will likely need an adjustment period as he transitions from the European game to the NBA. If he does, he’ll be another floor-spacing threat. As Cotton Fitzsimmons told Hollins, “You can never have too many shooters.”

Alan Anderson: Anderson should provide solid depth and toughness, along with D-and-3 ability. He’s another Hollins-type player. It will be interesting to see where Anderson figures into the rotation, given that Hollins has so many options. Still, Anderson is a veteran, so you have to figure Hollins will utilize him in different situations.

Kirilenko visits his Hooters

July, 10, 2014
Jul 10
Andrei Kirilenko visited his Hooters restaurant in Russia.

From his Instagram account:

Kirilenko told Bloomberg before last season’s playoffs that he planned to build five restaurants in his native country, with the first one scheduled to open in Moscow on April 28.

“Russians and Americans are more alike than different -- huge sports fans who are looking for great food and good times,” Kirilenko told Bloomberg. “When you’ve got waitresses that look like ours, it’s a slam dunk.”

Kirilenko opts in, will remain with Nets

June, 23, 2014
Jun 23
Andrei Kirilenko has decided to exercise his $3.3 million player option and will remain with the Brooklyn Nets in 2014-15, a league source confirmed to

Kirilenko, 33, was plagued by injuries last season and appeared in just 45 games for the Nets -- mostly in a reserve role -- averaging 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in 19.0 minutes per game, shooting 51.3 percent.

He is an unselfish player known for his versatility on both ends of the floor. The Nets signed Kirilenko last offseason to a two-year contract by using their taxpayer’s mini mid-level exception. earlier reported that Kirilenko had decided to exercise his player option.

Nets draft preview: Glenn Robinson III

June, 20, 2014
Jun 20
Glenn Robinson IIIDave Weaver/USA TODAY SportsStill developing, Glenn Robinson III could benefit from the veteran wings on the Nets roster.
With the draft coming up next week, we will be taking a look at prospects the Nets might consider trading into the draft for.

Brooklyn does not have a pick in the draft but GM Billy King has said he is interested in trading into the draft if a player they like is available. Here is one player that could entice them to trade for a late first-round or second-round pick.




THE 411: Glenn Robinson III is an athletic forward who comes with NBA pedigree and potential. His father, Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson, was drafted first overall 20 years ago, right ahead of current Nets coach Jason Kidd. Unlike his father, Robinson III still has developing to do and doesn’t come NBA-ready. He is athletic, can be explosive and has good length with a 6-10 wingspan. The sophomore, though, was inconsistent and sometimes seemed passive. Robinson III averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 rebounds while shooting 48.8 percent from the field. He has to get stronger and improve his shooting after making 30.6 percent from behind the arc.

FORD PROJECTION: ESPN’s draft expert Chad Ford has Robinson III ranked 33rd overall and projected as high as a late first-round pick.

FORD’S REPORT: “May 23 Update: Robinson III was one of the four or five players who helped themselves the most at the draft combine. His elite athletic abilities, a slimmed-down physique and some very solid shooting numbers in the drills all gave him a boost in the eyes of scouts. Not to mention the fact that according to multiple GMs he absolutely nailed the interviews.

Robinson also had a strong workout in Chicago and now it appears that a number of teams in the mid-to-late first round are coming after him. He was probably ranked too high at the start of the season when we had him in the late lottery, but he's probably underranked now. If he can keep up that aggressiveness in workouts, he should land somewhere in the 20s.”

WHY THE NETS SHOULD TRADE TO PICK HIM: The Nets are in need of youth and athleticism, and the 20-year-old Robinson III brings both. He may not be as good a shooter as Tim Hardaway Jr. was coming out of Michigan last season but the Nets certainly can use a young swingman asset for the future like Hardaway Jr. became for the Knicks last season. The Nets, though, also offer Robinson a good situation to develop, grow and learn from veteran swingmen like Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce (if Pierce re-signs). Pierce is a free agent and Andrei Kirilenko and Alan Anderson have player options in their contracts. So the Nets could really need a small forward for depth this coming season. More than anything else, however, the Nets can use a young small forward to groom for the near future.

Nets offseason breakdown: Jason Kidd

June, 11, 2014
Jun 11
Jason KiddSteve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsJason Kidd started slow but found his footing as the season progressed.
This is the 13th installment of our daily Nets breakdown, with an emphasis on what’s to come for next season.


Year in review:
Kidd’s first season as a head coach at any level got off to a tumultuous start. There was a falling out with lead assistant Lawrence Frank, numerous injuries including losing Brook Lopez for the season, minutes restrictions, blowout losses and even a fine for purposely spilling a soda to create an extra timeout.

Kidd pretty much experienced everything and anything in his first three months on the job. Through it all, though, he didn’t lose the locker room or the respect of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. After a 10-21 start, Kidd began to get comfortable and more assertive. He took control of the team’s style of play after demoting Frank, tinkering with the defense and offense. He moved Pierce to power forward and Garnett to center after Lopez went down in late December and the Nets took off after Jan. 1, going 34-17 in the New Year.

Kidd won Eastern Conference coach of the month honors twice and led the Nets to a franchise-record 15 straight home wins. Shaun Livingston and Mirza Teletovic had breakout seasons under Kidd’s tutelage, and Mason Plumlee developed into an All-Rookie performer. Kidd kept Pierce and Garnett’s minutes down to save them for the playoffs.

In the playoffs, Kidd’s growth as a coach continued as he coached the Nets past the Raptors in seven games in the first round before falling to Miami in five games. Kidd saved some of his best coaching moves for when the Nets were on the brink of elimination, making lineup changes and adjustments while even drawing a fine for politicking for more favorable officiating before Game 6 against the Raptors. Miami, though, proved to be superior, especially in the final two minutes as the Nets couldn't execute when they needed to the most in Games 4 and 5 with the chance to win both games.

Role moving forward: Kidd’s second season should go smoother for the simple fact that he now has a year under his belt, is more comfortable and knows how he wants to run his system. The Nets will be in the second year in Kidd’s system and won’t be trying to learn adjustments in December to a system installed in training camp.

Kidd still has plenty to learn and experience as a second-year head coach. He has to find a way to get the best out of Deron Williams, who underperformed in the playoffs and struggled due to injuries. And the Nets can do a better job of maintaining second-half leads. The second-round series against the Heat also showed that the Nets can play the final two minutes of meaningful games better.

Kidd’s roster remains uncertain as of now with Pierce and Livingston hitting free agency next month, Garnett’s uncertain future plans, and Andray Blatche and Andrei Kirilenko potentially exercising player options in their contracts. Kidd could have to work with several new players next season while having to monitor the health of Williams and Lopez -- both are returning from surgeries. Also, he will have to find a way to alter his offense with Lopez returning.

Contract status: Kidd is entering the second year of a four-year contract worth $10.5 million.

What they’re saying:
“No idea. Really. That is the one thing you can definitely say about Jason Kidd -- he was very unpredictable.” -- Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, on who he thought Kidd would go to on a possession that saw Shaun Livingston get the ball with 32 seconds left with the Nets down two in Game 5.

Should they bring him back: Kidd was the biggest question mark for the Nets entering last season and now he has proven he can coach. In fact, he probably deserves a raise considering the five-year, $25-million contracts Steve Kerr and Derek Fisher recently signed.

Now that the Nets know they have a coach –- Kidd’s success helped ease the path for Kerr and Fisher to coach without any previous experience –- Brooklyn has to figure out how to improve its roster with limited cap space to help Kidd take a step forward next season.

Garnett yet to indicate future plans

June, 4, 2014
Jun 4
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Kevin Garnett has yet to give the Brooklyn Nets any indication of what his plans are for the coming season.

So until Garnett decides whether he is going to retire or not, general manager Billy King will plan ahead with the thinking that Garnett is returning for a second go-around with the Nets.

“He’s under contract,” King said after a Nets’ free-agent workout on Wednesday. “So until a guy tells you he’s not under contract you go on the basis that he’s under contract and you got to plan accordingly. If a guy changes course and decides to retire then you make that decision.”

“But you don’t go in thinking, ‘OK he’s retiring,’” King added. “You got to assume that $12 million is going to be in your cap and you plan that way.”

Garnett, who turned 38 last month, has one year remaining on his contract worth $12 million. He averaged 6.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in a career-low 20.5 minutes a game as Jason Kidd kept his veteran big man under a minutes restriction.

“I think he was good,” King said of Garnett this past season. “I think this year, you can say he’s not the Garnett of 12 years ago, whatever, but I think what he brought to the table for us was good.”

King He's under contract. So until a guy tells you he's not under contract you go on the basis that he's under contract and you got to plan accordingly. If a guy changes course and decides to retire then you make that decision.

-- Nets GM Billy King
Garnett has the offseason to contemplate his future and decide whether to retire after a Hall-of-Fame career. He is one of several key Nets with an uncertain future. Paul Pierce and Shaun Livingston are unrestricted free agents. And role players like Andray Blatche, Andrei Kirilenko and Alan Anderson have player options in their contract.

Nets looking to buy: The Nets do not have a pick in this month’s draft, but they are interested in buying a potential late first-round or second-round pick from a team.

“Generally, you don't know if you're going to get a pick until you get on draft day,” King said. “Because everybody's looking at it and they may have guys they want to target and if a guy falls out of their range, then they may want to sell it or trade it.”

“You are always trying to get a pick, if there is a player you want, you are always working the phone see if you can get something,” King added. “If we don’t [acquire a pick], I am not going to be disappointed. Because we are not just going to spend the money just because we have it.”

L-Frank: King was asked if Lawrence Frank’s role will change for this coming season after he being demoted to providing reports.

“We’re in the process of evaluating that right now,” King said.

The general manager doesn’t expect any additions to the coaching staff after assistant Charles Klask joined the Detroit Pistons' staff.
This is the sixth installment of our daily Nets player-by-player breakdown, with an emphasis on what’s to come for next season.


Year in review: Kirilenko averaged career lows of 5.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 0.4 blocks, 0.9 steals and 19.0 minutes a game in his first season in Brooklyn. He played in just 45 games, missing several games due to ailments with the biggest being a back injury. When he was healthy, he was able to still show flashes and make the kind of difference that doesn’t show up in the box score with his active off-the-basketball energy.

Jason Kidd mixed up his rotation and Kirilenko’s playing time fluctuated in the playoffs. In the first round, he didn’t play in Game 1 and played a total of seven minutes in Games 5 and 7. He didn’t play in Game 2 of the second-round series against Miami. But in the Nets' final three games of the season, he became a fixture in the rotation, playing no fewer than 15 minutes in each of the last three games of the series.

Role moving forward: If Kirilenko returns, he can still provide the Nets experience, defense, energy and hustle off the bench. Kidd would likely have to monitor his minutes moving forward given the wear and tear on the 33-year-old’s body.

Contract status: Kirilenko can make $3.3 million next season but he has a player option.

What they’re saying:
“Let’s see,” Kirilenko said when asked if his decision to return will hinge on whether Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett return. “Let’s see how it goes. It’s a lot of different things in the process. Roster is definitely one of those things. You want to be on a team which is competitive, that’s the main thing.”

Should they bring him back? If Kirilenko wants to return, the Nets would like to have him back. He can be a nice piece off the bench if he can stay healthy. Of course, Kirilenko could exercise his option if he believes there’s a better situation to contend for a title and a better role elsewhere.



Brook Lopez
20.7 0.9 0.5 31.4
ReboundsK. Garnett 6.6
AssistsD. Williams 6.1
StealsD. Williams 1.5
BlocksB. Lopez 1.8