STOCK RISING: D’Angelo Russell was No. 2 overall pick in 2015 with Lakers but failed in difficult circumstances. Now he can develop under Kenny Atkinson and build great career. He’s a proven playmaker.
STOCK FALLING: Isaiah Whitehead started 26 games last season, averaged 22.5 minutes, but he will be hard-pressed to get playing time without major injuries. His toughness on defense is asset, but he lacks playmaking ability.
STOCK STEADY: Point guard Jeremy Lin is bedrock of Nets even though his leadership is subject of continuous question. His shots need to fall at higher rate, but he represents pulse of team with rebounding, steals, assists, maturity.
GOOD INVESTMENT: Nets signed Allen Crabbe to 4-year, $75 million offer sheet in 2016, but Portland matched. Traded for him in 2017, and it’s obvious he is perfect system fit with three-point ability and surprising length on defense. His shooting can turn Nets into formidable opponent every night.
RISK/REWARD: DeMarre Carroll is entering ninth season and coming off two injury-plagued seasons in Toronto. But he is fit now, comfortable in system he learned at Atlanta under assistant coach Kenny Atkinson, and he’s a top three-point shooter and defensive leader. Call him “salary dump,” but he’s a clear vet leader.
33-49, fourth place in Atlantic Division
Jeremy Lin says the Nets can go from having the NBA’s worst record to making the playoffs. They have greater talent and depth and the Eastern Conference is weaker. Jumping from 20 wins to 33 is reasonable, but it probably will take 37-38 to get in.
Greg Logan has covered the NBA for 10 years for Newsday. This is his second season covering the Nets.