The Brooklyn Nets can finally look ahead to the opening of training camp with a roster that is 100% healthy now that the Kevin Durant trade saga is over. The end of the drama between Brooklyn and its franchise player is just the surface of what the Nets need to accomplish to deem this a successful season. After being swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of last year’s playoffs, this could once again be a championship or bust season for the Nets.
The success of the Nets in 2023 will be contingent on how they retool their roster. Especially in the wake of the free agency departures of Bruce Brown and Andre Drummond, who were key rotation players for Brooklyn last season. Durant has been pushing the Nets to sign Los Angeles Lakers free agent Carmelo Anthony per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
“Nic Claxton — whose starts have gone from zero to one to 19 in his three years in the league — has proclaimed himself ready to seize the center spot. But with DayRon Sharpe the only other 5 on the roster, it wouldn’t be a shock to see them look for a backup/competition for Claxton. And if they wanted to appease Durant, they could bring in Carmelo Anthony, a move he’s wanted them to make,” Lewis writes.
After an offseason where Durant was adamant about wanting out of Brooklyn, it would behoove the Nets front office to do everything in their power to keep him happy.
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Carmelo Could Be Key Contributor for Nets
Carmelo may be on the cusp of playing his 20th NBA season, but don’t let his age fool you. In the right position, the future Hall of Famer can still be a contributor to a title contender.
Last season he averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and shot 44% from the field. For reference, that’s more than the Nets’ fifth leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge who averaged 12.9 points per game, and roughly two points less than their fourth leading scorer Seth Curry who averaged 14.9 points per game in 19 games for the Nets.
Inserting Carmelo into a lineup that features two prolific scorers in Kyrie and Durant would afford him a lot more touches than he did playing with Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis last season with the Lakers.
Nets Roster Starting To Take Shape
The irony of all the drama that emerged out of Brooklyn this summer is that they could have one of the best rosters in the NBA. With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, two of the most prolific scorers the NBA has ever seen on the same roster, Brooklyn will always be in the conversation for title contention.
But what makes things scary for the league pertaining to the Nets is who they are bringing back. Durant only played 55 games last season, and Irving played 29, yet they squeezed out 44 wins in a loaded Eastern Conference.
Now the Nets are on the cusp of returning several key players they didn’t have available last season. Seth Curry, Ben Simmons, and Joe Harris. If they can follow the same blueprint as last year, this time with all their available players, the Nets could yield a much different result.