Brooklyn Nets will be signing veteran guard Andre Roberson. Roberson will be reunited with Kevin Durant, who he was teammates with in Oklahoma City Thunder, and was once one of the NBA’s best defenders. In 2017, he was named Second-Team All-Defense in 2017, and played a key role for the Thunder in almost reaching the 2016 NBA Finals.
29-year-old Roberson missed 30 months because of a torn patella tendon — the same injury that almost ended Jeremy LIn’s career— before rejoining the Thunder in the “bubble” where he suited up for seven games, putting up minimal numbers but proving he can play. He averaged 2.9 points and 3.9 rebounds in 12.4 minutes in those games. Going into the 2020-21 season, the Thunder released him.
On Monday night, the Nets beat the Sacramento Kings 136-125 and now own a 17-12 record. After their game, the Nets waived Norvel Pelle making space to sign Andre Roberson a few hours later. Pelle came along with the James Harden trade, sending Jarrett Allen to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In three games, Pelle averaged two points, 2.3 rebounds and one block per night.
When he was a starter for four years in Oklahoma City, Roberson averaged merely five points and 4.3 rebounds per game but was known as a defender.
Apart from his health, Roberson’s offense has largely been the reason why he has remained unsigned for so long. He is a career 25.5 percent shooter on 3-pointers, and what is perhaps even more damaging, is that he has made less than 47 percent of his free throws. Teams routinely left him unguarded on offense, and while he developed into a smart cutter to help alleviate some of the damage his offense was doing, he would never be mistaken for good or even half-decent on that side of the ball.
The Nets are currently standing third on the Eastern Conference table and appear to have all that talent clicking together but Brooklyn has one of the worst — if not the worst — defense in the league, and more than enough scoring power with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, so defense is all that matters now when it comes to making improvements.