Isolation And Screen Navigation
Simmons defensive numbers arent all great. Over his last two seasons, opponents scored 0.97 points per possession when they isolated against him. That ranked 82nd among 142 players who defended at least 200 isolations over those two years, according to Second Spectrum tracking.
And Simmons size can be a detriment in the pick-and-roll, because it keeps him from being able to navigate screens as well as smaller guards
Lamarcus Aldridge: Free Agent
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LaMarcus Aldridge is a really talented veteran big man and has been a decent role player for the organization this year.
Aldridge came back to the Nets this season after finally clearing health protocols, coming to pound the paint at Barclays Center. Averaging 12 points and five boards per contest made him a great center coming off the bench.
A few weeks ago , inquiring if they were looking for a shooting big. This comment clearly shows his intentions of not returning to the team.
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Part-time comedian and full-time dunker Blake Griffin is entering this offseason as a free agent.
Griffins production for the team was subpar, averaging only six points per game. His shooting hinderance behind the arch this season really made him seem well out of his prime, shooting only 26 percent from three-point-land.
The Nets have a bad tendency: going after players well past their prime. Despite his on court struggles, Griffin is a household name that definitely helps sell tickets but his real value has been giving younger players on the roster advice, which theyve praised. With Aldridge in his way out, I can see Brooklyn retaining Griffin on a minimum contract.
Who Is On The Brooklyn Nets Current Roster
The Brooklyn Nets current roster consists of Devontae Cacok , Kevin Durant , Kessler Edwards , RaiQuan Gray , Blake Griffin , James Johnson , LaMarcus Aldridge , Nicolas Claxton .
They have also DeAndre Bembry , Bruce Brown , Joe Harris , Jevon Carter , David Duke , James Harden , Kyrie Irving , Patty Mills .
Lets take a look at the Nets current roster list and their name, position, height, weight and date of birth information.
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Transition And Dart Throwing
The good defense far outweighs the bad, though, and good defense can also be a boost to a teams offense.
Simmons scored 190 fast break points two seasons ago, accounting for 23% of his total scoring. That was the third-highest rate among 233 players who averaged at least 20 minutes per game. .
Hes not the most efficient transition scorer. Simmons 1.00 points per possession in transition ranked just 108th among 134 players with at least 100 transition possessions two seasons ago. But Simmons is more apt to fuel his teams transition game with the pass. He ranked second with 6.8 pass-ahead passes per game and third with 2.2 transition assists per 36 minutes in 20-21, according to Second Spectrum tracking.
Hes consistently got his head up, looking to get his teammates their own early offense. When he pushes the ball up the floor, his teammates can take advantage of a scrambled defense
We think of Durant and Irving as half-court scorers primarily, but a few more transition opportunities per game will only make them more efficient. Though they got swept, the Nets actually led the playoffs in transition efficiency this year.
Whether in transition or in the half-court offense, Simmons is an elite passer, with great vision and the strength to throw pin-point darts across the floor with one hand
What Is The Nets’ Salary Cap
The Nets’ decision to bring James Harden and his $41.3 million salary in 2020-21 put Brooklyn further into the luxury tax. According to Sportac, the Nets currently have a total cap of $165.3 million, which is a whopping $56.2 million over the salary cap. Right now, it is only the Golden State Warriors that have a higher total active cap than the Nets.
Unsurprisingly, Brooklyn’s Big 3 already accounts for close to 70 percent of the team’s total salary. Harden , Kevin Durant , and Kyrie Irving already combined for $113.9 million in salaries between them.
Patty Mills Player Option
John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
The Brooklyn Nets absolutely had one of the best pickups in last years free agency with seasoned veteran Patty Mills.
Mills had a phenomenal season with the team, averaging 11 points, shooting an impressive 40 percent from the field coming off of the bench. Mills value as a player has surely jumped after the impressive season, especially since he had to pick up the extra work from Irving at the throughout the season.
While the guard had a less-than-favorable end to the season, I still think its safe to assume that Mills is a talented playmaker and the Nets best option for a backup.
Mills could opt-out of this contract, his value is much higher than the original two-year $12 million contract. As a consistent, veteran role player with high efficiency, other teams will be interested and when there is a more tantalizing offer, I believe hell take it.
Brooklyn Nets Kevin Durant Meet Agree To ‘move Forward’ Together After Star’s Trade Demands
Stephen A. Smith says Kevin Durant needs to show he galvanize the Nets and deliver a championship.
” Steve Nash and I, together with Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai, met with Kevin Durant and Rich Kleiman in Los Angeles yesterday,” Marks said in a statement. “We have agreed to move forward with our partnership. We are focusing on basketball, with one collective goal in mind: build a lasting franchise to bring a championship to Brooklyn.”
Durant initially asked for a trade on June 30 and reiterated that desire in a meeting with Joe Tsai in London earlier this month, sources confirmed to ESPN. During that meeting, Durant wanted Tsai to choose between him and the brain trust of Nash and Marks.
Instead, Nash and Marks will retain their jobs, while Durant will remain in Brooklyn, New York, as the four-year, $198 million extension he signed last offseason kicks in this season.
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Nic Claxton: Restricted Free Agent
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In his junior season Nic Claxton has proven to be a young defensive talent in the paint. His height and wingspan gives him insane versatility.
As much as Claxton has progressed as a player, its possible that the Nets dont see him as a necessity going forward. Claxton, while averaging eight points and five boards this season, is an atrocity from behind the line.
The big man has shot 16 percent in his career from downtown, not taking a single three this season. Unfortunately, as talented as he is, the roster doesnt need another non-shooter from range.
Ben Simmons shooting struggles are a major problem and with the Nets investing in his future, its safe to say that Brooklyn wont want two players on the court that cant stretch the floor.
Bill Simmons Rips Kyrie Irving: For The Last 5 Years He Has Not Been An Impact Guy In The Playoffs
Brooklyn Nets superstar Kyrie Irving is one of the most polarizing players in the entire league. There are those who love and support him, and there are those who think his off-court antics are a bit too much.
Regardless, theres no denying that he is one of the most talented players in the world. Hes a very gifted scorer and regarded by many as the best ball-handler in the history of the NBA.
Despite that, he endured a pretty rough 2021-22 campaign. He missed many Nets games due to his refusal to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Duke University product also wasnt able to help the Nets out of the first round of the playoffs last season.
Sports pundit Bill Simmons recently stated on his podcast that Irving has not been an impact player in the playoffs for the past five years.
Im really confused by the perception of Kyrie Irving versus how it compares to the facts because the facts are, for the last five years, he has not been an impact guy in the playoffs at all, said Simmons. The last time he was truly an impact guy in the playoffs was the 2017 playoffs, which he was awesome.
While its certainly possible that Simmons is still a bit upset that Irving was unable to ever lead the Celtics to an NBA title, the media personality definitely makes a good point.
Given all that has transpired this offseason, Irving would surely love to help the Nets make it back to the playoffs and show the world that he can still be an impact player in the postseason.
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Who Are The Nets Targeting In Free Agency
The 2020-21 season is the first time the Nets are able to see their two prized superstars play alongside each other, with Kevin Durant returning from a season-long stint on the sidelines to join All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. As it turns out, they also had plans to bring in a third superstar to Brooklyn, which came in the form of James Harden a few games into the new campaign.
As such, the Nets didn’t have to do too much in the offseason in terms of adding new players via free agency. All they had to do was sign a few guys to round out the roster, and they did just that.
Veteran forward Jeff Green was their first offseason signing, with the 34-year-old putting pen to paper on a one-year deal worth $2.6 million. Green has since turned out to be a key player in the squad’s rotation, and that contract is already looking like a bargain for the Nets.
Brooklyn also brought in 6-foot-3 combo guard Tyler Johnson via free agency on a one-year, $2.0 million contract. The addition of the 28-year-old adds some depth to the team’s backcourt.
Other players linked to the Nets during free agency included Rajon Rondo, Serge Ibaka, and Danilo Gallinari.
Brooklyn Nets: How To Fix The Roster
The Brooklyn Nets are in complete disarray. They looked like the clear NBA championship favorites a year ago with a healthy trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. Durant wasnt always on the court due to injury recovery, Irving dealt with personal issues that saw him off the court as well, and Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. The return Brooklyn received from Harden looked solid, including Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, and Seth Curry.
Of course, nothing materialized for Brooklyn in the playoffs as the Boston Celtics swept them in the first round. Now, Durant and Irving both want out. Losing these stars isnt ideal, especially considering what it cost Brooklyn to bring them in, but not all hope is lost.
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What The Brooklyn Nets Roster Could Look Like
For this portion, lets assume the Nets opt against bringing in Westbrook in an Irving trade to the Lakers.
If Durant is traded to the Suns, the Nets can use this lineup:
Simmons, Harris, Bridges, Johnson, and Ayton.
Thats a very solid squad, especially with names like Curry, Claxton, Warren, Horton-Tucker, McDermott, Mills, and others off the bench.
If Durant is traded to the Warriors, the Nets can use this lineup:
Simmons, Poole, Wiggins, Kuminga, Claxton. The bench players remain the same as the previous lineup, although Harris is added.
If Durant is traded to the Raptors, the Nets can use this lineup:
Simmons, Harris, Anunoby, Barnes, Claxton/Chris Boucher. The bench is similar to the others again.
In an ideal world, the Nets keep Durant and Irving. That seems unlikely at this point. With that being said, the options for the Nets arent horrible. These squads can remain competitive and allow the Nets to add more star pieces.
Who Is Running The Nets
The uncertainty has created a power vacuum, and one of the team’s stars has asserted himself. After losing to the Celtics, Irving suggested he would collaborate with Durant, Marks, and Tsai to “make some moves this offseason” and be “intentional about what we’re building and have some fun with it.”
On the business side, the Nets are seeking another CEO after John Abbamondi announced he’s stepping down effective this July. The move was a surprise since Abbamondi took over the role in July 2020 after current Genus Sports executive David Levy quit as Nets CEO in January 2020 following just five months on the job.
The departures created a sense of confusion about who is running the club and led to other pressure-packed questions. The franchise, for instance, will be scrutinized over whether it will hire a Black CEO.
The predominantly Black NBA has only three Black CEOs, down from a league-high seven in 2007. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has acknowledged the diversity issue, saying the NBA “can do a better job” regarding hires among “CEOs on the business side of teams.”
Two league sources told CNBC the Nets already identified a candidate to replace Abbamondi. The Nets didn’t return a request for comment on whether the team’s CEO search included a Black candidate.
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David Duke Jr: Free Agent
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David Duke is a two-way player for the Brooklyn and Long Island Nets. He played in over 20 contests for Brooklyn throughout the season, averaging four points and four rebounds per game.
His efficiency for Long Island in the G-League was impressive, picking up 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal per game.
I wouldnt be surprised if the Nets signed him to another two-way contract, considering they dont use it on one of the many talents theyve been working out this Summer ahead of the NBA Draft.
Film Study: What Ben Simmons Brings To Brooklyn
The 6-foot-11 former All-Star guard is expected to be ready for training camp with the Nets this season.
Ben Simmons was sidelined for the entire 2021-22 season.
The Brooklyn Nets somehow survived the reported trade request from Kevin Durant. Now they can see what they have with an improved roster around one of the best offensive players in NBA history.
There is potential for greatness. After the All-Star break last season, the Nets won in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Miami, doing so without Joe Harris or Ben Simmons. They got swept in the first round, but had the most efficient offense in the playoffs against what was the leagues best defense. And that was with Durant shooting 39% and Kyrie Irving averaging just 15.3 points over the last three games.
Defense was obviously a problem. The Nets ranked 20th defensively in the regular season and the 119.2 points per 100 possessions that they allowed the Celtics to score in the first round were 8.5 more than Boston scored in any other playoff series. One primary issue was their lack of size on the perimeter. Five of the top seven players in the Nets playoff rotation were 6-foot-4 or shorter. The primary defender on Jayson Tatum was the 6-foot-4 Bruce Brown, and the two Nets who defended 6-foot-6 Jaylen Brown the most were Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry .
Here are some notes, numbers and film regarding the player that Simmons was when we last saw him in uniform:
Will Nets Spend More Money
The Nets face other potentially costly roster issues this offseason, as well.
Irving needs to decide on a $36 million player option, but said he plans to return. One agent suggested to CNBC that guard Bruce Brown’s market value could eclipse $10 million per year after his stellar playoff performance. His salary now is roughly $4 million. Patty Mills has a $6 million player option, and center Nic Claxton is eligible for a new contract.
Nets operator BSE global has shown a willingness to pay the NBA’s luxury tax, which is a penalty the league applies after a team’s salary goes above a certain point. That money is then distributed to teams that don’t pay the tax.
For the 2021-22 season, the team’s estimated tax bill exceeded $90 million, second behind the Golden State Warriors’ tab, according to Spotrac, a website that tracks sports deals. That’s slightly higher than the previous season’s bill.
Next season, the NBA’s so-called soft salary cap will grow to $122 million, with the luxury tax threshold set at $149 million. The Nets’ total payroll stands at $187 million for eight players under contract, according to Spotrac. Expect that figure to grow.
Executives questioned how long Tsai, the billionaire co-founder of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, would pay to chase what could be more early playoff exits.
Goran Dragi: Free Agent
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Goran Dragi was an absolute steal of an acquisition for the Brooklyn Nets. Dragis experience and playmaking abilities made him a really great addition to this roster.
However, Dragi did struggle for the team offensively. With over 25 minutes a game Dragi was only able to put up seven points per contest. Dragi did average nearly a handful of dimes alongside a respectable 37 percent.
In only 16 games for the team, I doubt the front office was necessarily crazy about him. I just dont really see the Nets putting a lot of emphasis in bringing him back.
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