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While there is now way of knowing how good they will be before the actually play, the Brooklyn Nets has put themselves in a position to become very good. Despite moving away from the Dwightmare, and giving Lopez a little more money then he is worth.
(On paper) its a very balanced team. Nets basically managed to do what their soon to be rivals, the Knicks, failed to do. They got players that compliment each other, while still getting names/talent.
The roles are crystal clear:
First they got their obvious superstar Deron Williams. There are no questions whether he is the main man or not. He is Batman.
Then they got their second option, "Robin", Joe Johnson. He might not be what he used to be, and he might never been the player he is paid like. But he is a great second option, its a role he doesn't mind having, and actually thrives in.
Furthermore they got Brook Lopez and Gerald Wallace. It really doesn't matter who you would consider then third option, what matters is that they fit in perfectly. Wallace can slip into a "do it all", defensive stopper, role. Lopez gives them a solid insides presence.
Last, but not least, they managed to keep Kris Humphries. Rebounds, defense, athleticism and hustle to round out the starting five.
Moving on to the bench. As to stands now they got Mirza Teletovic, Marshon Brooks, Reggie Even, Jerry Stackhouse. Thats a pretty solid blend of shooting, scoring, rebounding, hustle, and veteran experience.
Overall: They got scoring from inside and outside, as well as defense... D-Will will be the go-to-guy, but he is also able to get his teammates the ball where they want it... Wallace won't have to score 20 ppg and can focus on getting double figure rebounds, with a pair of blocks and steals or locking down the opponents superstar... Wallace and Humphries also makes up for Lopez lack of rebounding... They are still relatively young... The team is equipped to match up with the HEAT and the overall up tempo play that is modern basketball.
They still need a back up PG and another big, as well as some more bench players in general, but the Free Agency isn't over yet.
In conclusion I feel like Brooklyn might and probably will have well have a clear contender in the future,.
At the moment NYK (0.485) and BOS (0.484) are at the 7th and 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. So you would probably need to at least win half your game to make it to the play off. That would be 33 wins.
Nets got 10 wins at the moment, and if they trade for Dwight after the All Star break they would have about 30 games left. So the question is: Could the trading for Dwight Howard be enough for Nets to win 20+ of those games?
Also: Could Orlando fall out of the playoff race after trading Dwight Howard? At the moment they got 21 wins. So they would obviously need to lose 20+ games of the approximately 30 games left.