The Brooklyn Nets added another veteran Tuesday when they signed former Hawk and Sun Josh Childress to a non-guaranteed contract. Childress will be invited to training camp where coach Avery Johnson will decide if he will earn a roster spot. He is in a similar position to the other newest Net, Andray Blatche. Both players are former semi-stars who are now on non-guaranteed contracts.
Get to know Josh Childress:
He was drafted with the 6th overall pick by Atlanta in 2004 and he is 29 years old. Although he never quite lived up to being a high lottery pick, he did have some good seasons with the Hawks. In 2007, he averaged 13 ppg, 6 rpg, and 2 apg. After the 2008 season, Childress left the Hawks to play in Greece, where he was for the most part very disappointing. He returned to the NBA in 2011 with the Phoenix Suns, who gave him a monster 5-year contract thinking he would be the same player who left the NBA in 2008. However, Childress was very ineffective in Phoenix, even with Steve Nash as his point guard, and the Suns amnestied him after he only averaged 2.9 ppg last season.
Even though Childress is clearly a talented basketball player, I definitely have some concerns about him. The one very concerning aspect of his game is the combination of his very low 3-pt % and his inability to draw fouls. Last season, he was 4/24 from behind the 3 point line, and was 1/16 the year before that. That is terrible. Also last year, Josh only attempted 2 free throws in 491 minutes of playing time. The combination of these stats mean that he is an ineffective perimeter player and an ineffective scorer in the paint. So let’s hope his mid-range game is really, really good.
The signing of Josh Childress is another step in the Nets’ master plan this offseason. It is clear the direction they are heading. Some teams prefer to sign young players or undrafted rookies with potential. Instead, the Nets are going after veterans who have failed in their previous roles, like Andray Blatche and Josh Childress, to fill out the last couple of spots on their bench. These players are very low-risk, and if their talent, which they have shown before, can somehow return to them this season, they will be effective players.
In my opinion, Deron Williams has influenced a lot of the decisions that Billy King has made. Deron has said that he doesn’t want to play with rookies or unexperienced players anymore. He wants veterans who know how to play in the NBA. Even though the Nets will technically have 3 rookies this season, two of them are from Europe and have been professionals for many years, and the other rookie played 4 years of very high-level college basketball at Kansas.
Billy King thinks that Avery Johnson will be able to change these former-failed players into players playing at their potential, even if they may not be the future of the franchise. The Nets have also signed veterans C.J. Watson, Jerry Stackhouse, Keith Bogans, and Reggie Evans to play in backup roles. Because of this, there will definitely be a veteran “win-now” feeling on the team. “Inexperienced” will not be a word used to describe the Nets next season, and it is the first time that one can say this in many years.