Nets Need to Target Shooters in Free Agency

The Brooklyn Nets have been become more athletic and younger during this free agency period with the acquisitions of Shane Larkin and Thomas Robinson. While the Nets continue to rebrand themselves as younger, faster-paced team, their three point shooting has suffered significantly.

Losing Mirza Teletovic and Alan Anderson, two strong perimeter threats has not helped, along with the fact the Nets have not acquired any lights out shooters. However the acquisition of Ryan Boatright was a step in the right direction.

Today’s NBA is played from the perimeter, and if the Nets cannot acquire a three point specialist off the bench, their playoff hunt will become much more difficult. Whether via trade or free agency, acquiring a sharpshooter is an absolute necessity for the Nets this offseason.

Marcus Thornton

 (Paul J. Bereswill)
(Paul J. Bereswill)

Three Point Percentage: 38%

Status: UFA

Teams Interested: Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Pelicans

The reunion of Marcus Thornton and the Brooklyn Nets may be welcomed by by both parties. While the Nets have not been linked with the LSU product, Thornton was productive for Brooklyn in his 26 games in Brooklyn, where he averaged 12.3 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while also shooting 38% from behind the arc.

Along with three point shooting, Thornton is a player who can come off the bench and score 20 in the blink of an eye. While inconsistent at some points, Thornton does have the ability to take over games as he did in Brooklyn. Currently, Thornton is not garnering too much interest so the Nets could bring him over on a deal that wouldn’t break the bank.

At 28-years-old, Thornton’s output won’t drop significantly and the Nets could sign him to a two or three-year deal without too much of an issue. The question remains however if Thornton would be open to a return to Brooklyn, which depends how his happy he was during his first tenure in Brooklyn.

Wayne Ellington

Three Point Percentage: 37%

Status: UFA

Teams Interested: Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Pelicans

Looking at Ellington’s current situation, it seems that the Lakers are intent on signing the former UNC standout. And why wouldn’t they, Ellington had a solid season for the lowly Lakers. In 65 games played with 36 starts Ellington averaged 10 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

Ellington could be a solid, affordable option to bring some offense to the bench. While this is not an issue for the Nets, who signed their fifth point guard on Friday night, Ellington can slide over and run point guard if needed. At 6’4, 200 pounds, Ellington is not suited to play small forward.

Again Ellington is only 27 and won’t command too much money so he could be a smart signing for Brooklyn.

Chris Copeland

(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Three Point Percentage: 31%

Status: UFA

Teams Interested: Washington Wizards

Chris Copeland’s stock is at an all-time low. Last season was disastrous for Copeland with averages of 6.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game while shooting 36% from the field and 31% from the three point line. However, this works perfectly as Copeland will then not command anything more than the minimum and with only the Wizards interested, the Nets could swoop in and sign Copeland relatively unopposed.

Copeland would not be signed based off of his production last season, rather the 2012-13 season, where Copeland averaged 8.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game while shooting 42% from deep. In that season, Copeland proved his worth as a three point specialist, and while he is 31-years-old a renaissance season is not out of the question for Copeland. Copeland is versatile, and can slide over to shooting guard, and even play power forward in small ball situations.

However, only a short term deal should be made with Copeland. If the Nets were to agree to a one-year deal with Copeland hovering around the minimum, it could potentially be a steal for the Nets.


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