Despite the current off-season woes that the Brooklyn Nets are experiencing, they’re making moves, trying to resolve and or salvage their situation.
They’ve re-signed Nic Claxton and veteran Patti Mills.
“Nic is an ascending player who has only begun to scratch the surface of what he’s capable of, on both ends of the court,” stated Net general manager Sean Marks about Claxton, drafted in 2019, the 31st pick of the second round. His play has earned him the respect of his teammates and the front office.
“With his defensive versatility and developing offensive skill set, we believe Nic has a bright future ahead of him and we’re looking forward to his continued growth in Brooklyn.”
Important signings? Yes, but they’re not solving the problems of a disgruntled Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving.
After the Nets have attempted to accommodate both Durant and Irving since signing them in 2019, and Irving’s attempt last month, the end of June, the start of free agency, to be traded, the Nets are also on the clock to make a deal for Durant, another shocking request.
It’s been exactly two weeks since Durant’s reps made the request, a move that will change the dynamics of the league if it happens. The Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns have been rumored to be involved in a trade to bring him to either of those cities.
Optimistic Net fans ask, “Can this situation be rectified. Can we get the band back together?” Everyone asks, “How long will this take to be resolved? Where can a deal be made?”
Considered one of the league’s best, a player with major upsides, Durant dramatically improves any roster that he’s added to. His departure from the Nets, if it happens, depletes Brooklyn in multiple categories, scoring for one.
Durant’s 29.9 average this past season, 7.4 rebounds, 6.4 assists, will be hard to replenish. The Nets, who have the upper hand, Durant has four years remaining on his current contract, will want commensurate talent, multiple first round draft picks. For Durant, a seven-footer, one-for-one, you’re not getting equal value.
The Nets signed Durant knowing that he’d spend his first season here on the sidelines rehabbing. Irving also signed, making the Nets an immediate Eastern Conference favorite.
They fired Kenny Atkinson, a coach who’d been building the team on the floor and brought in an inexperienced Steve Nash, a former all-star player, most certainly at the suggestion of Durant and Irving, or not without their blessings. There were also some personnel changes in an attempt to augment the roster.
With the acquisition of James Harden in January of 2021, conceptually, on paper, a formidable, amazing Big 3, the Nets were expected to represent the east in the Finals, but instead, he’s gone, in a deal consummated in February with the Philadelphia 76ers for Ben Simmons who hasn’t played since June of 2021, but somehow, miraculously, cleared waivers for the trade, but required back surgery in May, two months ago, that hopefully will allow him to play this upcoming season.