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NJ Nets Frontcourt

The New Jersey Nets Front Court
July 29
, 2008

New Jersey free agent Nenad Krstic signed a two-year contract worth about $9
million annually to play for a Russian team. Krstic joins joining former
teammate Bostjan Nachbar in leaving the NBA to play overseas.

The move of Kristic somewhat helps to lighten the number of Nets players in
the frontcourt.  As of now on the roster the following players could play
some at center - Josh Boone, Sean Williams, Stromile Swift, and rookies Ryan
Anderson and Brook Lopez.  Also on the roster are Yi Jianlian and Eduardo
Najera.  Even at small forward there is a gaggle of players including Vince
Carter, Trenton Hassel, Jarvis Hayes, and Bobby Simmons.  (my apologies to
Vince Carter for including him in the same sentence as those other players).
With the number of players under contract in New Jersey it seems other than
Vince Carter and Devin Harris, the other three positions may be manned by a
committee of sorts.  Not fertile ground for fantasy players.

So which players might have the greatest chance of emerging as key Nets
players?  One candidate is Josh Boone who did start 53 games for the Nets
last season and showed he could contribute some rebounds.  But for a center
he will struggle to get more than a block per game and he can not make over
half of his free throws. He saw his playing time dip some towards the end of
last season.

Another candidate is Sean Williams.  He is an intriguing prospect as in only
17 minutes per game last season he managed to block 1.5 shots per game.  But
beyond the blocks and some rebounding potential, he has not shown much and
he also saw diminishing time last season.

Yi Jianlian might have more upside than Williams and Boone.  He was taken
6th overall in the 2007 draft and is still in his early twenties.  He has
potential not only for offensive output but on a per minute basis has shown
contributions in steals and blocks.  As he gains strength and stamina his
efficiency and overall production should increase.  At least he can hit his
free throws at 84% - that is something his fellow big men Boone and Williams
can not do. 

Jianlian also faded towards the end of last season and was somewhat quietly
traded to New Jersey giving him obscurity compared to other highly draft
2007 rookies such as Kevin Durant, Greg Oden, and Jeff Green. Keep an eye on
the Nets in the preseason to see who might claim front court minutes.

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