• Erik Slater

Brooklyn Nets 2016-2017 Season Roundup

The 2016-2017 Brooklyn Nets season was the most positive 60 loss season in franchise history.

The organization found some much needed direction following the hirings of General Manager Sean Marks and Head Coach Kenny Atkinson.

Young players such as Caris LeVert, Isaiah Whitehead, and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson began to blossom under Kenny Atkinson's new system. Free agent pickups Jeremy Lin and Trevor Booker played well and look to be important pieces of the Nets future. Brook Lopez continued to produce as the veteran presence of a young Nets team. With the offseason approaching we look back on this past season.

Record: 20-62

Stat Leaders

Points Per Game: Brook Lopez (20.5)

Rebounds Per Game: Trevor Booker (8)

Assists Per Game: Jeremy Lin (5.1)

Steals Per Game: Jeremy Lin (1.2)

Blocks Per Game: Brook Lopez (1.7)

Player of the Year: Brook Lopez

Brook Lopez continued to produce as the franchise player for the Nets in 2016-2017. The 29-year old Center averaged 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game in his ninth season with Brooklyn. Lopez added a new element to his game in the three point shot. In his first eight seasons in the NBA Lopez made 3 three point field goals, this season he made 134. The addition of the three point shot forced defenders to extend themselves outside the arch, which opened up space for Lopez, as well as others, to penetrate the defense. Brooklyn's franchise player also passed Buck Williams for the top spot on the Nets all-time leading scorers list. Lopez has voiced his desire to be part of the Brooklyn rebuild and one would think the Nets will keep him barring an extremely attractive offer.

Most Improved Player: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is on his way to becoming an all around player for the Nets. The second year Forward continued to be a force on the defensive end this past season. Hollis-Jefferson's length and athletic ability allows him to effectively defend a variety of players. The 22-year-old made a noticeable improvement to his offensive game as well. Hollis-Jefferson played with a confidence and aggressiveness that allowed him to penetrate the defense and finish around the rim. The next step in the development of Hollis-Jefferson's game is a reliable jump shot. Overall the Nets should be happy with the improvement made on the offensive end. If Hollis-Jefferson is able to develop his outside shot the Nets could have a future star in the making.

Future Building Block: Caris LeVert

The biggest positive taken out of the 2016-2017 Brooklyn Nets season was undoubtedly Caris LeVert. Sean Marks selected LeVert out of Michigan with the 20th pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. LeVert was overlooked by several teams due to a foot injury that hampered his collegiate career, but Marks looked past the injury and saw length, quickness, and superb athleticism. The 22-year-old shooting guard produced wonderfully in his rookie season. LeVert was able to use his length to defend and his quickness to get to the basket. In his rookie season, LeVert averaged 8.2 points per game and shot 45% from the field. This offseason will be used to develop LeVert's three point shot. At Michigan, the shooting guard shot 40.1% from three, but that percentage dropped to 32.1% his rookie season. This should be expected due to a longer three point shot and more athletic defenders in the NBA. LeVert was a steal with the 20th pick and will be a player the Nets can build around in the future.