2018-19 Season Preview: Brooklyn Nets

D'Angelo Russell and the Nets haven't been the same since losing Caris LeVert to an ankle injury.

Coach: Kenny Atkinson (entering his third season; 48-116, .293).

Last Season: 28-54, did not make playoffs.

Key Returnees: Spencer Dinwiddie, D’Angelo Russell, Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Joe Harris, Caris LeVert.

Key Additions: Shabazz Napier (Portland), Jared Dudley (Phoenix), Ed Davis (Portland), Kenneth Faried (Denver), Dzanan Musa (rookie, Bosnia and Herzegovina).

Key Losses: Dante Cunningham (San Antonio), Jeremy Lin (Atlanta), Jahlil Okafor (New Orleans), Nik Stauskas (Portland), Darrell Arthur (Phoenix).

Outlook: It’s been quite an offseason for Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks and pretty much none of the solid moves he made this summer will pay off … this season. But because of what he’s orchestrated, the vision the Nets will sport after this season could be well, 2020. Dwight Howard was traded for, then bought out, with his contract coming off the books after this season. In the same trade, Brooklyn shipped Timofey Mozgov and his $16.7 albatross of a salary to Charlotte. Jeremy Lin was sent to Atlanta in another move to jettison salary and Brooklyn made a deal with Denver to take on the contracts of Kenneth Faried and Darrell Arthur, both of which expire after this season and received a first-round draft pick from the Nuggets to make it happen, then flipped Arthur to Phoenix to acquire Jared Dudley. OK, so what about this season? Well, Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell are young, talented guards and Allen Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Joe Harris and Caris LeVert are also back. Newcomers include veterans Shabazz Napier and Ed Davis, both late of Portland, Dudley and Faried and draft pick Dzanan Musa. In other words, expect a trip to the lottery after this season, but unlike past seasons, the Nets own all of their own draft picks. It’s a baseball phrase, but it certainly fits here for Brooklyn — wait till next year.