There seems to be finally some good news happening in Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Nets. This week Kevin Durant was reported to be meeting with Brooklyn ownership this week and for the first time, showed positive signs at a potential Nets return. Kyrie Irving was also mentioned by sources close to Irving to be “in a good place with the Nets and comfortable entering the 2022-23 season.” After a summer of uncertainty, the Nets look to finally have clarity on the horizon regarding what their team will look like next season, including the initial plan of running it back with their big three of Durant, Irving, and Ben Simmons.
This offseason, the Nets did lose key players like Bruce Brown and Andre Drummond in free agency but added Royce O’Neale via trade and signed TJ Warren on a veterans minimum. The moves they have made, despite the drama they had circulating, have been enough to garner praise from NBA Insider Brian Windhorst. With Irving and Durant coming back, Brooklyn can again be one of the biggest contenders in the Eastern Conference.
Brooklyn has also been linked to other possible additions like Dwight Howard in free agency and valuable guards like Eric Gordon in trade discussions. How the Nets lineup will continue to come into fruition will be seen as training camp approaches, but recently one NBA insider gave a peek into what we can expect for the Nets and their starting center position.
Ben Simmons at Center
While there still is no guarantee that Durant and Irving will be back in Brooklyn next season, the Nets seem to be operating under the belief that they are. Former Nets assistant general manager and current ESPN analyst Bobby Marks recently shared insights on the Nets plans to play Ben Simmons at center.
When discussing where Dwight Howard might land in free agency, Marks mentioned the Nets being the ‘best fit’ but also commented on their current situation at center with Simmons likely being the starter and Nic Claxton backing him up.
“On paper, the answer is Brooklyn, but the likelihood is that we see Ben Simmons playing the majority of minutes at center. The Nets also have Nic Claxton and Day’Ron Sharpe in a backup role.” Marks wrote.
Potential Nets Lineups
Simmons playing the center gives the Nets a potential starting lineup of Kyrie Irving at point guard, Seth Curry playing the two, Kevin Durant as a forward, Royce O’Neale filling in the Bruce Brown role as a three and d wing, and Ben Simmons at the center position. That is a very athletic lineup with multiple playmakers. Joe Harris could also be a player in that starting lineup in his return from injury. TJ Warren brings a scoring threat off the bench with Patty Mills and the aforementioned Nic Claxton as a backup big. Cam Thomas is also a player that could see increased minutes after another impressive summer league performance.
Once there is more clarity with Durant and Irving in Brooklyn, the Nets will also likely add a few other pieces to finalize their roster makeup. Perhaps Howard is part of that, or the team will look for other pieces to help them compete for an NBA title.