I would liken the Nets somewhat to the 1990s Indiana Pacers.
With Brook Lopez in that Rik Smits role (very strong offensive threat with inside-outside game, below average but passable defender/rebounder). Gerald Wallace in the Derrick McKey role (high level defender, quality possession creator, auxiliary scorer). The PF position (the Humphries replacement) needs to be a Dale Davis type player (high level physical interior defender/rebounder).
And then with Deron Williams and Joe Johnson as a high powered backcourt (different and more effective than R.Miller and M.Jackson).
I think Joe Johnson is one of the most versatile scorers in the league. He is a very good jump-shooter from all over the court (close range, midrange, long two point, three point threat). He can space the floor. He has a lethal post-up game. He is a very strong ball-handler and passer. A very effective pull-up jumper off the dribble. Play pick and roll basketball. Effective on and off the ball due to his ball-handling and shooting ability. Not that good in transition anymore but an effective trailer and occasional finisher. At 6 foot 8 230lbs, JJ is a matchup nightmare for most two guards in the league.
I also think Deron Williams is one of the most well rounded scorers and overall point guards in basketball. He does pretty much everything on the court at a good to very strong level.
I consider Brook Lopez a really good pick and roll player because he is such a strong finisher around the rim (great touch around the basket, excellent size/frame) and because he can pick and pop as well as pick and roll. I think he works well with Deron or JJ there.
I think those three give Brooklyn a very strong base offensively to build their team around. I like the options they create and their capacity to play alongside one another due to the scoring versatility of Joe Johnson and Deron Williams + the inside/outside game of Brook Lopez. I blame Avery Johnson for the Nets disjointed offense so far.
Gerald Wallace should play both SF and PF minutes for New Jersey. When they need to matchup against quicker teams or want to create matchup problems for their opponents, they should switch G-Wallace there and up the tempo offensively and defensively.
They will be more of a slower team, a power based team, while Gerald Wallace is at the three. A very big perimeter trio and a center with good size. Hopefully someday a PF with good size. When they move Gerald Wallace to the four, that is where/when most of their transition opportunities will be.
I really like Mirza Teletovic on their bench. At 6-8 230lbs and another well-rounded scorer with shooting ability and a post up game. A good shot-creator. I think they have a strong offensive option there behind G-Wallace to put in a small-ball lineup alongside G-Wallace (PF). Very disappointed by his lack of minutes so far.
CJ Watson is a good two-way backup point guard. Blatche is a strong backup center. Very few, if any, backup centers possess the skill-level and offensive talent that Blatche brings to the table. A matchup problem. Marshon Brooks has shown some potential as a scorer. Not wild about Reggie Evans but he has some redeeming qualities (terrific rebounder, physical toughness, nastiness). So there is a fair bit of talent on the bench already.
They are just one piece shy. A big piece. A Dale Davis (Anderson Varejao) level piece. You could call that player a high level player if you want or a low level star (may be more fitting considering their impact). either way, a really important player. Both of those are/where clearly very effective players. It's no small addition. It's a very significant piece of the puzzle and no sure thing that they'll be able to land that piece.
But if they get that piece, I would consider them a title contender. I think that is the final piece that when added to their current core puts them in the title mix. So they are not that far away. They are not a title contender today but they have a strong base there (Deron, JJ, B.Lopez, G.Wallace) that is close to being where they want to get to.
Now we'll just need to wait and see if they can get a bit of luck and pull it off. Land that final piece they need to complete their team. To take them to that next level.
I think this Kris Humphries situation will play a big role. They don't have that many (trade) assets. So he is a big variable here. As a trade asset.
What they get in return for him could play a huge role in deciding whether they can make (or not) an attractive offer for that final piece of their starting lineup (maybe not now but down the road).