This is the third post in a weekly series breaking down the players on the Nets’ roster. There is always a chance there will be transactions made and the rankings can be changed. For now, we are leaving the rookies out because they haven’t actually played in an NBA game yet. Throughout the regular season we will be updating these rankings weekly based off of performances during the week prior. Last week we had Sean May as our No. 10 player, today we will focus on the new Nets’ backup center Johan Petro.
By: John Fraty
What he can do:
Before I rip into the Nets for a very bad contract given to Petro, there is some good things that Petro does bring to the table. He’s a very sturdy backup center who is a lot younger then most people probably think he is (24). Petro is purely a big body who does a good job of filling up the paint defensively. He does a nice job of moving his feet and is a decent help defender. For his career he’s averaged nearly 17 MPG, and 4.2 RPG. Does that jump off the page? No, but when we look at his 36 MPG they are much more respectable (11 and 9). Petro will not be Marcin Gortat, but as a backup center who I believe has more potential then most people think, I believe the Nets have made a nice pickup getting him in free agency. Also, does anyone else agree that “Pet” is a great nickname?
What he can’t do:
Petro isn’t exactly a big guy (7 feet, 247 pounds) but he is athletic and I can envision him being good in a more uptempo offense. In the halfcourt of the Nets? Well, he can set some screens for shooter and he won’t have a much larger role then that. He’s extremely raw offensively, but his age does provide some time for the Nets to mold him into a more polished player offensively. Other than potential, there isn’t much more to Petro’s offensive game. He has no skills beyond the low post, and even then he won’t be putting the ball up much. We really can’t expect much from him on that end of the court. On defense Petro fouls at a ridiculous amount (6.6 FPG last season in 36 minutes). He isn’t a fantastic shot-blocker but he will hopefully be able get the job done overall.
Alright, let’s get to the contract that Petro got from the Nets. It was bad. Really bad. The Nets could have gotten him for 30 cents on the dollar, but instead they gave him a 3 year, $10 million contract. I do like Petro’s potential but it wasn’t worth that much money. He will be a serviceable backup to Brook Lopez next season, and to be perfectly honest, not much more than that. Petro’s age is a plus to me, but at this point his performance is a toss-up. We really can’t predict how he will do next year. His game as a whole is raw, but his canvas (size/athleticism) is something that I think Avery Johnson can work with. Avery did a good job of squeezing as much as he can out of his centers when he was in Dallas (who, by the way, were also very overpaid) and he should be able to mold Petro into a nice role player.