Crabbe averaged 13.2 points and came on strong toward the close of his first season with the Nets, averaging 15.1 points per game and 42.4 percent 3-point shooting after the All-Star break. LeVert took a leap in his second NBA season, improving his scoring average to 12.1 points per game and averaging 4.2 assists per game while assuming more playmaking responsibilities.
Harris posted career highs across the board in his fourth pro season, including his 41.9 3-point shooting percentage. He set a franchise record with 118 3-pointers off the bench, and his season total of 150 cracked the team’s single-season all-time top 10. Harris led all NBA players in shooting 44.7 percent on above the break threes and was second in the league in shooting 46.7 percent from three after Jan. 1. He was also tops in the league in field goal percentage on drives (62.7 percent) for players with at least 100 attempts.
“The new additions, us guys from last year having that experience, can only hope for nothing but the best.”
In the frontcourt, Carroll turned in career highs of 13.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in his ninth season, while Hollis-Jefferson had a breakout in his third season with 13.9 points and a team-leading 6.8 rebounds per game. Allen turned in a strong rookie season, moving into the starting center spot and leading all rookies with a 58.9 field goal percentage and his team-leading 1.2 blocks per game.
“We’ve got a lot of guys back,” said Carroll. “We’ve got a lot of guys healthy. We’ve got a lot of guys that should know each other. That should only help. We’ve just got to trust our work that we did in the offseason. Kenny, him and Sean Marks have really put together a group of guys that are high-character guys. No selfish guys in that locker room.”
To that mix, the Nets have brought in well-regarded veterans Ed Davis, Kenneth Faried, Jared Dudley, Treveon Graham and Shabazz Napier, plus forward Alan Williams on a two-way contract.
“They fit in well with the culture,” said Harris. “They kind of were seamless in the transition. It’s been great having them around all offseason in terms of playing with them, leadership, this summer holding guys accountable. A lot of them have had success in this league, especially somebody like Jared who’s been around a long time. It’s beneficial for our team with a lot of young guys to have them in the locker room.”
The strong first impressions ran both ways.
“They’re unselfish,” said Faried. “This team is a team. They’re together. Everybody cares about each other here. I’ve learned that just by playing pick-up so far. It’s going to be a fun, exciting year.”
Rookie swingman Theo Pinson out of North Carolina has the second two-way deal, while the Nets selected 19-year-old Dzanan Musa of Bosnia and Herzegovina and 20-year-old Rodions Kurucs of Latvia in the NBA Draft.
The mix of the returning core, veteran additions and rookie potential has the players excited for another step after last season’s eight-win improvement.
“The new additions, us guys from last year having that experience, can only hope for nothing but the best,” said Crabbe. “Get ready to see improvements from us. I feel like guys worked really hard this offseason putting in the time, whether it was here or back home. You can tell the difference in a lot of guys’ bodies or their games in general. This year can really be a year where we shock a lot of people. People are still counting us out, ‘oh maybe they’re not there yet.’ It really doesn’t matter what they believe, it’s what we believe.”