After Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors finished off the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the championship, the NBA offseason is officially underway. And for the Brooklyn Nets, it could be one of the most important free agency periods in the history of the franchise. After losing to the Milwaukee Bucks and being swept by the Celtics in consecutive years, the Nets have yet to even make it to the conference finals in the Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant era. And with the Eastern Conference improving each season, every move they make this offseason will be pivotal.
Where the Nets have struggled the last two seasons is finding any consistent rim protection, which was exposed in their first-round elimination by the Celtics. And with the uncertainty of where restricted free agent Nicolas Claxton will sign next year, Brooklyn will have to keep their options open at the center position. In a conversation with Eddie Gonzalez of “Boardroom”, NBA Insider Jake L. Fischer of “Bleacher Report” , reveals that the Nets could be interested in Orlando Magic restricted free agent Mo Bamba.
“I’m just taking a guess, maybe that’s a home for Mo Bamba then. Maybe you give him like the lower deal, a one-year deal, like come here on a ‘play it, prove it’ contract in a playoff environment,” Fischer said. “I’m just kind of spitballing. connecting relevant pieces of information.”
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Kyrie Expected To Be Present for Nets Training Camp
An even more pressing issue is Kyrie’s contract with the Nets. The All-NBA guard has a player option on the final year of his deal for 2023 and could opt out and test free agency this summer. And the Nets’ reluctance to offer him a max extension has some fans concerned about the possible outcome.
But regardless of all the chatter surrounding Irving’s contract situation, Fischer says that he expects the Nets All-Star trio to be a full go for the start of NBA training camp.
“I’ve been working on the assumption that all three — Kevin, Kyrie, Ben Simmons — will be there for the start of training camp. However, there’s a lot of talk about Kyrie,” Fischer said to Gonzalez. “Definitely some talk about whether they are going to figure out a long-term relationship.”
Nets ‘Big 3’ the Most Important Factor for Next Season
The most crucial factor for the Nets’ 2023 season will be their big three of Kyrie, Durant, and Ben Simmons, who they acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers at the NBA trade deadline. The trio has yet to play together after a back injury prevented Simmons from suiting up for the Nets during the 2022 season. He had surgery to repair the injury in May.
If their three stars are healthy, it will put them in a better position to compete, but it still won’t be easy. Teams such as the Bucks, Celtics, and Miami Heat will all still be among the top teams in the conference, and the Nets will have to beat them if they have hopes of securing an NBA title in 2023. It will be interesting to see what the outcome will be.