Nets news: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson could play some center this season
The Brooklyn Nets experienced a good amount of turnover at the center position this offseason. They lost star center Brook Lopez, but picked up a couple more big bodies in Timofey Mozgov, who arrived in a trade with the Los Angeles Lakers, and rookie Jarrett Allen, who was drafted No. 22 overall.
However, Newsday’s Greg Logan reports that Kenny Atkinson is considering playing smaller at times this season, with DeMarre Carroll playing some power forward and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson potentially logging minutes at center.
Kenny Atkinson said he could see DeMarre Carroll playing PF and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at C despite 6-7 ht because of 7-3 wingspan. #Nets
— Greg Logan (@GregLogan1) September 27, 2017
Along with playing D’Angelo Russell and Jeremy Lin together, Hollis-Jefferson at center could be another intriguing lineup experiment to watch with the Nets this season.
While the idea of putting Hollis-Jefferson, who came into the league as a small forward, at center sounds like a radical one, it does make sense from a basketball perspective. Atkinson wants to play at a very fast pace, and a lumbering big man like Mozgov isn’t necessarily a center suited to playing that up-and-down style.
Although only 6-foot-7, Hollis-Jefferson plays big for his size thanks to his long wingspan. That length should at least allow him to compete at the position, especially when opposing teams also go small. He would help the defense in terms of his ability to switch along the perimeter. Playing him at center would also mitigate his lack of shooting, which can make him a significant liability when he plays at forward.