Brooklyn is making a clean sweep tonight: Brooklyn will sign Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and DeAndre Jordan, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
The Brooklyn Nets entered the 2019 off-season as one of the most intriguing players in the market. With the cap space to sign two big free agents and the appeal of a massive media market, the Nets looked to be in the running for some of the league’s top players.
The Nets failed to disappoint, as they bagged three of the leagues most talented players:
— Nice Kicks (@nicekicks) March 10, 2018
Center | 6-11, 265lb (211cm, 120kg) | Texas A&M | Exp. 11 Years
11.0 PPG | 2.3 APG | 13.1 RPG | 0.6 SPG | 1.1 BPG | 1.8 TOV | .641 FG% | N/A 3P%
Key Contributions: Rebounding, Rim Protection, Screening
Expected Contract: $40 Million/4 Years
18-19 Salary: $22,897,200
DeAndre Jordan looks to be joining the Brooklyn Nets at the most opportune time for both himself and the Brooklyn franchise. Jordan is a veteran center with top-level rebounding, shot-blocking, and screening abilities. He’s also shown a dedication to improvement, as he increased his free-throw percentage from 58% during the 2018 season to 70.5%, this past year.
Not only is Jordan a long-time friend of Kevin Durant, but the Nets’ performance in the playoffs seemed to signal the need for a center of his calibre. After getting trounced by Joel Embiid in the NBA playoffs, second-year player Jarrett Allen showed he is not yet up to the task of the NBA’s premiere pivot men.
Jordan seems to be the perfect complement to a high-scoring duo in Irving and Durant that would round out their own big three. With a point guard as skilled as Kyrie Irving, it seems inevitable that Jordan will find the success he once owned when paired with Chris Paul.
— Roc Nation Sports (@RocNationSports) June 30, 2019
Point Guard | 6-3, 193lb (190cm, 87kg) | Duke | Exp. 8 Years
23.8 PPG | 6.9 APG | 5.0 RPG | 1.5 SPG | 0.5 BPG | 2.6 TOV | .487 FG% | .401 3P%
Key Contributions: Playmaking, Isolation Scoring, Shooting
Expected Contract: $141 Million/4 Years
18-19 Salary: $18,868,625
Concerns about Irving’s attitude, conspiracy theories, and effect on team chemistry are all thrown aside once he contributes on the basketball court and that is exactly what the Brooklyn Nets are banking on. While they’ve chosen to let D’Angelo Russell go (via sign-and-trade), they receive a clear upgrade in one of the NBA’s top point guards.
By the talk of social media, one would think that Irving had a poor outing in 2018-2019. In fact, Irving shot 40% from three, dished a career-high 6.9 assists, and improved his participation by seven games.
Irving represents the first point of contact for the Nets’ new big three. Sharing scoring duties with Durant and backed up by the capable Spencer Dinwiddie, the Brooklyn Nets seem primed to be led into the future by one of the NBA’s most enigmatic stars.
— SFGate (@SFGate) June 30, 2019
Small Forward | 6-9, 240lb (206cm, 108kg) | Texas | Exp. 12 Years
26.0 PPG | 5.9 APG | 6.4 RPG | 0.7 SPG | 1.1 BPG | 2.9 TOV | .521 FG% | .353 3P%
Key Contributions: All-Around Scoring, Shot-Blocking, Playmaking
Expected Contract: $164 Million/4 Years
18-19 Salary: $30,750,000
Within the early minutes of the NBA free agency periods commencement, the league’s most coveted free agent had already named the team he would be playing for. After losing to the eventual champion Toronto Raptors in the NBA Finals and mismanagement of his health by the Golden State Warriors, all signs pointed Durant to New York. But few expected it would be with the Nets.
Kevin Durant’s resume speaks for itself. As one the NBA’s top three players – including Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard and Los Angeles’ LeBron James – Durant brings championship possibilities to the Nets. Unfortunately, those possibilities are unlikely to materialize until the 2020-2021 season.
After a strained calf sidelined Durant in the NBA Playoffs, his attempted return against the Toronto Raptors only won him a ruptured achilles. He is expected to miss the remainder of the 2019-2020 season.
|Point Guard||Shooting Guard||Small Forward||Power Forward||Center|
|Kyrie Irving||Joe Harris||Kevin Durant inj||Rodions Kurucs||Deandre Jordan|
|Shabazz Napier||Spencer Dinwiddie||Caris LeVert||Dzanan Musa||Jarrett Allen|
|Jaylen Hands||Allen Crabbe||Treveon Graham||Nicolas Claxton|
The Brooklyn Nets certainly have some rounding out to do with their roster. They’ve already lost a key piece in Ed Davis and a valuable veteran in Demarre Carroll. With Durant expected to be out for the season and Irving’s history of injuries, the Nets are surely looking to continue filling up via free agency.
The question for the Nets lies in the thought of whether or not they intend on contending immediately, without Durant in the lineup. They are a good team without him, but not good enough to challenge the best of the East – let alone the World Champion Toronto Raptors.
Brooklyn maintains a number of capable isolation scorers but lacks a true playmaker outside of Kyrie Irving. They may look to Shabazz Napier to step up, or Jaylen Hands to come on quickly as a rookie. Kenny Atkinson runs an egalitarian offense that complements Irving based on his experience in Boston, but they are yet to boast the same amount of weapons.
The Brooklyn Nets are going into the upcoming season with promise, but not much hope for an immediate championship. Once the moratorium period ends, we’ll have a better look at their quality. For now, they are surely a playoff bound team. Their odds to win a championship this upcoming season, however, are improved but not at the top of the totem pole.
|Sportsbook||Brooklyn Nets Championship Winner||Link|
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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