No. 31 Jarrett Allen
As a rookie, Allen soaked up knowledge, became starting center at midseason, showed he belonged. Used offseason to improve strength, focus on rebounding and shot-blocking.
2017-18: 8.2 pts.; 5.4 rebs.
No. 9 DeMarre Carroll
Coming off career-best season, Carroll likely will slide from small forward to power forward in small-ball lineups, might come off bench, but remains key leader.
2017-18: 13.5 pts.; 6.6 rebs.
No. 33 Allen Crabbe
Strong second-half performance last season proved Crabbe can handle go-to role if he shoots aggressively. Has ultimate green light. Length helps him force turnovers.
2017-18: 13.2 pts.; 4.3 rebs.
No. 17 Ed Davis
Quintessential veteran “glue guy” lacks outside shot, but vacuums up rebounds, blocks shots, is screen-and-roll expert and is valuable mentor and backup for Allen.
2017-18: 5.3 pts.; 7.4 rebs.
No. 8 Spencer Dinwiddie
Most Improved Player finalist started 58 games last season and was second in NBA assist-to-turnover ratio but returns to backup point guard role. Must improve three-point shot.
2017-18: 12.6 pts.; 6.6 ass’t.
No. 6 Jared Dudley
Veteran three-point specialist can space floor because he has size to play and guard both forward positions. Strong locker-room voice adds leadership and mentoring.
2017-18: 3.2 pts.; 2.0 rebs.
No. 35 Kenneth Faried
Played career-low 32 games last season in Denver but still rebounds at high rate. Absence of three-point shot makes it difficult to fit Nets’ spread offense.
2017-18: 5.9 pts.; 4.8 rebs.
No. 21 Treveon Graham
Career .438 percent three-point shooter has shown he’s strong enough at 6-5 to play both forward positions, has impressed with rebounding knack in preseason.
2017-18: 4.3 pts.; 1.9 rebs.
No. 12 Joe Harris
“Joey Buckets” earned two-year deal worth $16 million with .419 three-point shooting, led NBA in field-goal percentage on drives and played physical defense.
2017-18: 10.8; 3.3 rebs.
No. 24 Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Sidelined most of preseason by groin strain suffered in early August exhibition in China. Healthy return is vital for Nets’ top defender and effort player.
2017-18: 13.9 pts.; 6.8 rebs.
No. 0 Rodions Kurucs
Early preseason returns suggest second-round Latvian forward might be a steal. Plays with high motor, rebounds, disrupts passing lanes, shows no fear driving to basket.
No. 22 Caris LeVert
Has started in preseason at small forward and is splitting ball-handling duties with point guard D’Angelo Russell. Might be Nets’ most versatile, multi-threat player.
2017-18: 12.1 pts.; 4.2 ass’t.
No. 30 Dzanan Musa
First-round rookie (29th overall pick) is only 19, will develop slowly as backup in crowded backcourt. Has shown scoring ability with Bosnian national team, strong ball-handler.
No. 13 Shabazz Napier
Four years after leading Connecticut to an NCAA championship, Napier is proven as smart, competitive backup point guard capable of handling expanded role in case of injuries in the lineup.
2017-18: 8.7 pts.; 2.3 rebs
No. 1 D’Angelo Russell
Limited to 48 games by arthroscopic knee surgery last season, Russell put in heavy offseason work to prepare for breakout season. Improved decision-making is key.
2017-18: 15.5 pts.; 5.2 ass’t.
Coach Kenny Atkinson
Third season of Nets’ rebuild starts with an improved young core and benefits from addition of talented veterans. Can this team improve defense and rebounding while playing Atkinson’s small-ball style (he had an eight-game improvement from 2016-17 season)? Atkinson said recently: “We’re more together as a group, as a staff and throughout the organization. All those things together breed confidence.”
W-L: (3 seasons) 48-116, .293