Basketball

Brooklyn Nets Season Preview 2021-22

Brooklyn Nets
(Kathy Willens/Associated Press)

One of the biggest what if’s of last season was about the Brooklyn Nets. If healthy, we all assumed they would hold Larry O’ Brien come Finals time. However, with Harden and Kyrie both hampered, they lost to the Bucks in 7. Unfortunately for Brooklyn, these injuries weren’t an anomaly. Throughout the whole season, we witnessed KD, Harden, Kyrie, and Aldridge miss time. Now we look to next year, where the Nets are the favorites once again. Here we’ll analyze their offseason and give our predictions for the Nets.

Nba Draft

It’s safe to say that GM Sean Marks had an incredible draft. With two first-round picks, the Nets fulfilled needs and were able to get the best talent available. 

Cameron Thomas

Arguably the best scorer in this draft, the Brooklyn Nets got a steal at pick 27. Cam Thomas was incredible this past college season, averaging around 24 points per game. However, he struggled with inefficiency and playmaking due to being a one-man show. Thomas’s playstyle won’t work in Brooklyn due to the plethora of talent they have. However, this gives Thomas the chance to mature his game and playmaker for others. Thomas will give valuable minutes off the bench and can contribute right away. Cam’s presence on the bench will give Brooklyn more separation from the rest of the league. 

Day’Ron Sharpe

After trading for the 29th pick, the Nets chose the big man Sharpe out of Carolina. This pick was based on potential rather than productivity. Last season, Sharpe averaged around 9 points and eight boards. Stats like that are pretty average. However, his ability to score in the point along and dominance on the offensive glass was impressive. Along with that, Sharpe has flashed his abilities to pass the ball. Sharpe is deficiently a versatile big. If he’s ever able to reach his potential, he’ll be a solid big in this league.

Free Agency

The Nets had a great offseason once again. They solidified their status as the best team in the league when healthy. From key resigning, to trades, and attracting free agents Sean Marks did it all.

Kevin Durant

The best move of the offseason by far for Brooklyn was resigning KD. There were some questions about the future of the big three in Brooklyn. Looking to move on once their player option hit was a real possibility. However, with KD being extended for the max the Nets’ future is clear. They have arguably the best player in the world locked up for the next 5 plus years. Look for the other big three to follow in KD’s footsteps and extend their contract. A great move for the Nets. Everyone should be hopeful that they win multiple rings throughout this deal.

Key Resigning’s

The Nets brought back two key pieces that’ll help them tremendously. Starting with Blake Griffin. The Nets acquired him after he was bought out by Detroit. Many didn’t believe he had much value in the league. However, Blake looked rejuvenated in Brooklyn. We saw his hustle plays, signature dunks, and outside scoring. Blake was a key contributor and provided a spark from the starting lineup and the bench. Look for him to do the same next season. Resigning Bruce Brown was also a huge move. Brown played with the starters a lot last year. His ability to be the small-ball five was key to their success. Brown also displayed incredible defensive versatility and instincts which made his value grow even more. He’ll be a major contributor once again next year.

Trades

Brooklyn also had some underrated trades this offseason. As stated already, they traded Landry Shamet to the Suns for a first-round pick. Adding a big in Sharpe was an incredible move for depth purposes. We saw the injuries pile up last year. Along with that, the Nets also added a backup point guard in Jevon Carter. He’s known for his defensive toughness, which Brooklyn needs. The Nets’ second trade was getting rid of DeAndre Jordan. Jordan was on a huge contract and wasn’t in the rotation longer. They sent him to the nets and added young talent in Okafor and Doumbouya. Although they did release Okafor, Doumbouya is an interesting piece. He’s still a raw prospect but has clear talent. If the Nets can develop him, he can be a key piece on the team.

Key Additions

Patty Mills

Patty Mills was one of the most sought out bench pieces in free agency. Mills’ offensive ability off the bench would help any team. The signing could be the reason why the Nets win a title. The Nets are already a loaded roster. But adding a player who can give you double-digit off the points makes them even better. Just an incredible singing by Sean Marks who’s been fantastic as general manager.

LaMarcus Aldridge

This is a low-risk high-award signing. Aldridge has had an incredible career and is a hall of fame player. However, his heart issues forced him to retire. After consulting with doctors, Aldridge seems clear to make a comeback. Last season in his short stint with Brooklyn, he average about 13 points and five boards a game. If Aldridge can replicate that type of production, he’ll be a key player for the Nets. But it doesn’t seem realistic to expect him to do so. Let’s just hope he’s healthy throughout the season.

Paul Milsap

Milsap, at this stage of his career, isn’t the same player he used to be. Although he still gives you defensive versatility and outside shooting. His impact is still quite limited. Although, his veteran leadership is priceless. Milsap will be great for the Nets on the sidelines and locker room. His voice will be heard and will matter come playoff time. He may not get the most minutes, but he’ll still be valuable for this Brooklyn team.

Lineups

Starting Lineup: Kyrie, Harden, KD, Harris, Blake

It’s an obvious lock that the big three will be starters. All three are superstars and will be the reason why the Nets win a title. Joe Harris’s shooting keeps him in the starting lineup. Without a doubt one of the best shooters in the league. However, the starting five is where things get interesting. This position could go any way. However, I’m predicting Griffin gets the nod. Griffin had a strong post-season performance. Now with his second season in the Nets system, he should be much better.

Bench: Mills, Brown, Doumbouya, Johnson, Claxton, Thomas, Sharpe, T. Johnson, Carter, Bembry, Aldridge, Milsap

The Nets backcourt off the bench is clear. Mill and Brown should get the majority of the minutes off the bench. Both are proven veterans who will give you valuable minutes. Cam Thomas should get looks, but he’s still a rookie and may need some development. The wings minutes should be given to Johnson and Doumbouya. Johnson is a tough-nosed veteran who still contributes. Doumbouya is still raw but has talent. If Steve Nash can unlock that talent the Nets will be even more dangerous. Look for Claxton to continue being the backup five until further notice.

Season Outlook

The Nets from here on out are championship or bust. With the roster and talent the Nets have assembled, they’re the clear favorite for the title. Look for Brooklyn to be the first seed in the East and have the best record in the NBA. I also predict that they’ll win the title at the end of the year. Hopefully, we get to see a finals match with the Lakers.

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  1. Pingback: Brooklyn Nets Offseason Rewind - Championship Sports Media

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