The Brooklyn Nets had a very impressive offseason; they picked up two superstars off of free agency and locked them down for long-term deals. Bringing in Kyrie Irving aka “Uncle Drew”, arguably the best point guard with the best handles in the NBA today, maybe even ever. They also brought in I think the best player in the league today. Some of you may be thinking, “well wait a minute, the best player is playing out in LA with the Lakers…”  I’m not talking about him, I am referring to Kevin Durant, the man who can pull up from anywhere on the court and can get to his spots easily with only a dribble or two. Even though he suffered a gruesome Achilles injury during the 2018-19 NBA Finals, it gives Nets fans a year to wait for him to return to the court fully healthy and ready to lead the team to the NBA Finals and hopefully, to their first NBA title in Franchise history. Let’s be honest. Yeah, you have Kyrie on your team but he doesn’t have what it takes to win a championship by himself. It takes multiple good players to win a championship. You always need a player to get the team to start hot, another player to keep them hot and in some cases, another player to close out the game. Yeah in some cases such as LeBron James he could take care of business by himself, but even he admits that he needs help to get over the hump and win another ring.

Landing Irving and KD had to come with sacrifice, in order for the organization to land the two top tier players they had to give up a young piece DeAngelo Russell that has proven his doubters that he could be a leader and help a team make it to the playoffs. Even though they had an early-round exit from the Philadelphia 76ers, the organization and fans stay optimistic as they go out in the offseason with high hopes knowing that they are on the right track to soon go deep in the playoffs. With the sudden pickups in early July, fans soon realize they are close than they think when it comes to seeing their first banner being hoisted up in the Barclays Center. Some may say it could be this year but many believe once KD fully comes back healthy, their chance of making it increases a lot more than with just Irving on the court without him.

Point Guards

Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
  • Kyrie Irving
  • David Nwaba
  • Theo Pinson
  • Spencer Dinwiddie
  • Jaylen Hands

You won’t see that many changes when it comes to the point guard position, the only thing that will be different is the person bringing up the ball. We are used to seeing Dinwiddie and of course Russell, but now they have a veteran type point guard that is known for being a good facilitator and being able to finish very close games. Even though Irving is coming from a team where some would say he was a “toxic” player, this gives him a chance to re-establish himself as a leader of a team and eventually add another ring to his collection. Dinwiddie is coming off an impressive two years and could’ve arguably been awarded Most Improved Player after the 2017-18 season. Almost doubling his points per game in those two years, along with his assists as well. Look for him to keep attacking at his role but also take a step back from the point guard role so Irving can adjust in the system a little bit more.

Shooting Guards

Credit: Chris Szagola/Associated Press
  • Caris LeVert
  • Džanan Musa
  • Joe Harris
  • Garrett Temple

LeVert has sunk into his role as being a great role player to the stars around him. He takes care of the dirty work and when needed, he goes out and gets his points when the time is right. He came into the league back in 2016 and has settled in to being a good role player. It didn’t take him long to adjust to the bright lights and the bigger crowds, every year he has improved by his numbers when it comes to assisting, points, rebounds, and even steals and blocks. I look for him to continue to improve to give the team a third even fourth option when it comes to taking over a game. Harris has come off as he would say his best season so far, especially after being selected to be in the three-point contest during the all-star break and let alone winning it over one of the best three-point shooters ever to grace their presence on the floor in Steph Curry. He also beat another arguably top tier three-point shooter in history Klay Thompson. I look for him to continue to grow in the system and become a top three-point shooter in the league.

Small Forwards

Credit: Brad Penner
  • Wilson Chandler
  • Kevin Durant
  • Henry Ellenson
  • Taurean Prince

With Durant out for the full 2019-2020 season, we won’t really see what a fully functional Nets team will look like until the 2020-21 season, but for the time remaining they still bring a lot of depth for the Small Forward position. With Chandler giving the team both length and a spark off the bench and someone to keep them very competitive on the defensive end. With Prince starting for the team he brings a stretch presence and gives them a three-point threat at the time being while Durant is still recovering from his Achilles injury.

Power Forwards

Credit: David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images
  • Rodions Kurucs
  • Nicholas Claxton

With Rodions coming back for his second season with the Nets, he put on a pretty good rookie season, knowing his role and taking advantage with the minutes he was provided. Claxton is an incoming rookie from Georgia who played pretty well with his team averaging 13.6 points, almost 9 rebounds a game, almost 2 assist a game and with 2.5 blocks per game. He could be used as someone to establish as a good shot blocker and rebounder alongside Jarrett Allen if both of them get the ability to play together at the same time. If both get the chance to play at the same time over the course of the season it could become tough to bring the ball into the inside with them establishing as the top shot blockers in the league.

Centers

Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports
  • DeAndre Jordan
  • Jarrett Allen

Jordan was brought over by the request of both Irving and Durant, he established himself as one of the best high flying centers in the league and was part of what we use to know as “Lob City” which was established with the LA Clippers back in the early 2010s. I don’t expect him to exactly get back to that level he used to be at, I expect him to take on the more teaching role with Allen and showing him how to become a dominant big man in the league. Allen is coming back for his third season and is expecting to pick up right where he left off, he is close to being known as a threat down low with his shot-blocking ability and with his skill to go up at any heights to grab the ball off a lob and finish.

Coach

Credit: USA Today Sports

Kenny has come as the head coach back in 2016 and it didn’t start out so hot. Posting a record of 20-62 it looked like it was going to be another long few years for the team before they can figure out a better situation for everyone. However, this previous season he quickly turned it around and posted a 42-40 record and establishing the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoff run. He should be able to post a better record these upcoming few years with the many new pieces that have been added to their roster. I expect the team finish top 5 in the Conference when it comes to being in the playoffs. I don’t expect him to lead his team to a title just yet, but once their key piece Durant comes back fully healthy, they will become a familiar franchise to be in the finals for a while.

Project Lineup/ Roster Cuts

  • PG: Kyrie Irving
  • SG/SF: Caris LeVert
  • SF: Taurean Prince
  •  SF/PF: Rodions Kurucs
  • C: DeAndre Jordan
  • Sixth Man: Spencer Dinwiddie
  • Key Role Players: Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris, Nicholas Claxton
  • Rest of the Bench: Theo Pinson, Jaylen Hands, Garrett Temple, Kevin Durant, Wilson Chandler
  • Roster Cuts: Henry Ellenson, David Nwaba

I look forward to seeing what Atkinson can do with more star power on his roster and if he’s able to adjust his schemes that allow them to have the ball their hands a lot more than he is used to seeing with his other guys. I think his original players will adjust over time and find a somewhat new role with the team. It is a long season so there won’t be a problem with them trying to figure it out for the first 30 or 40 games. I always believed that the true NBA season started after the All-Star break, that’s when you see teams try to find that last remaining piece that can help them let alone make the playoffs but also win a championship. If I was a Brooklyn fan I would see this season as a test run to see if it truly works with Kyrie as the leading man for the Nets, we all know that next season is truly going to be a thriller with Durant back not only in the lineup but also back in the league. These next five years with the pieces they brought in should be fun to watch and expect them to put their name on the map as one of the best teams in the league.

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