2020 Offseason Outlook - Brooklyn Nets


Overview


This time last season, the Brooklyn Nets were one of the winners of the offseason, signing two star free agents, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. They knew that the team would be without Durant for the season, but an injury-plagued season for Irving left the Nets without the talent and leadership that they gave up so much to have. At the suspension of the current NBA season, the Nets had a 30-34 record which left them at 15th in the league and 7th in the eastern conference. The Nets are not looking to make many moves this offseason and intend to make a championship run with their two best players, Durant and Irving, returning for the start of next season. Brooklyn’s main focus this offseason will revolve around finding a suitable coach to replace Kenny Atkinson.


Salary Cap


The Brooklyn Nets currently have 11 players guaranteed to contracts next year. After signing Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant last offseason, the Nets will be over the salary cap for the coming years and will not be able to sign any high-value unrestricted free agents without making significant moves. They currently have 2 players with options. Garrett Temple has a $5 million team option and Theo Pinson has a $1.7 million team option, both of which I expect to be picked up by the Nets to keep some depth to their bench. The Nets also have 2 players entering unrestricted free agency, Joe Harris and Wilson Chandler. The Nets have bird rights on Joe Harris and resigning him will be their key focus going into free agency. They will have a $5.7 million taxpayer mid-level exception available to them, but I do not expect them to use it unless they find a steal late in the free agency period.


Depth Chart –


Free Agency


Unlike last offseason, the Brooklyn Nets will not be making headlines in the 2020 free agency period. The only expectations on them are to resign valued small forward and former three-point contest champion, Joe Harris. They have the bird rights on him, and he is expected to get a multi-year deal on around $15 million. They can also look at signing a cheap back-up point guard to allow Spencer Dinwiddie to run the shooting guard position more often. They could even potentially look at using their exception to sign a player like Isaiah Thomas to provide some quality backup minutes after getting waived by Washington.


2020 Draft


While the Brooklyn Nets do not have their own first round pick available as it will go to the Timberwolves, they do project to have the 20th overall pick from the Philadelphia 76ers. With the projected 20th overall pick, the Nets could look to draft Jaden McDaniels, a 6’10” forward out of Washington. McDaniels is a tall, lanky forward with some shooting ability that can handle the ball. There are some questions around his strength, intensity and defence but he is the perfect player to be mentored by Kevin Durant and can become a strong backup in the league is he can build some muscle.


Coaching


Back in March, the Brooklyn Nets made the surprising decision to part ways with head coach, Kenny Atkinson. Many believe that new star players, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, had a lot to do with this decision being made. Both Kyrie and KD have been known to cause drama within the organisations they are a part of, most notably Kyrie in Boston. This means that choosing a new head coach has become the most important decision that the Nets will have to make this offseason. Brooklyn needs a coach that is able to handle the large personalities of the players on this team as well as earn their respect. The potential coach also needs to know how to win and can also deal with the pressure from coaching in New York. Mike D’Antoni is currently the number one prospect for the job. D’Antoni is currently in the final year of his contract at Houston and if reports are to be believed, it will be his final year at the team. D’Antoni knows how to handle star players and utilise them to their maximum potential on the offensive end, like he has done with James Harden. If anyone can handle the egos on this team and turn them into a championship favourite, it is Mike D’Antoni. If the Nets cannot secure D’Antoni, other contenders for the role include Jeff Van Gundy, Jason Kidd and Mark Jackson.


Summary


The Brooklyn Nets will enter the 2020 offseason with all eyes on their coaching decisions. There are very few moves they can make in free agency and they will look to bring back Joe Harris and use the mid-level exception to bring in a veteran backup like Isaiah Thomas. They will look to strengthen their bench through the draft and make a run at the championship in the 2020/21 NBA season with the return of injured stars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. There will be many questions leading into the season, with many wondering how good Durant will be after his injury and whether Kyrie can be a positive impact to the team as a second option but I have no doubt the Brooklyn Nets will be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference next season.

Projected Depth Chart 2020/21 Season –