Following a sweep in the first round at the hands of the Boston Celtics, many expect big changes to come in the Brooklyn Nets organization. Most would agree that the Nets roster is the first thing that needs to be addressed this summer. While it is true that Brooklyn has arguably one of the more talented trios in the league, with Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons, their roster is very top-heavy. And that was on full display in their first-round matchup with the Celtics.
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Nets Expected to Sign Goran Dragic in Free Agency
The Nets have seven players from last year’s roster scheduled to hit the free-agent market on July 1. This means they will have to make some tough decisions on who they will keep on next year’s roster. Alex Schiffer of “The Athletic” says that one of the free agents he expects the Nets to bring back is their reserve guard Goran Dragic, who they acquired through the buyout market after last year’s trade deadline.
“Dragić was perhaps the Nets’ most consistent player in the postseason loss to the Celtics, averaging 10.5 points per game in the series on 56 percent shooting. His regular season was limited toward the end after a bout with COVID-19, but he provided the Nets a steady hand and reliable floor general, especially when Irving was still a part-time player,” Schiffer writes for the Athletic.
“What’s worth considering is that Dragić was Nash’s understudy in Phoenix. As Nash and Marks look to remake the roster, Dragić’s relationship with Nash and willingness to be a sixth man could be factors. It’s worth remembering that the Nets can only use their taxpayer’s exception on one player. Getting Dragić for the minimum to be the backup point guard isn’t a bad idea. If Irving is out of the lineup, Nash knows what he has with The Dragon.”
Nets Expected To Bring Back Rookie Standout Next Season
Nets rookie Kessler Edwards had a rough stretch of games during the regular season. Rough enough to fall out of head coach Steve Nash’s rotation. But the rookie wing was never short on confidence despite being benched. Edwards just stayed ready for his next opportunity, and ultimately it paid off for him in a big way. His two-way deal, was converted to a standard contract for the rest of the season. Schiffer expects the much improved Edwards to be back for the team in his sophomore season.
“Edwards got the first two-way spot on the roster after a strong summer league and emerged as a 3-and-D threat over the course of the season. He got his contract converted to a standard NBA deal late in the season. He played sparingly in the playoffs but fits the bill of what the Nets need more of — an athletic wing who can contribute on both ends of the floor. Edwards’ salary would be just $1.5 million next season, and he fits the player development discussion Marks brought up last week,” Schiffer writes.
“Edwards adding muscle and emerging as a reliable rotation piece would be a welcomed sight for a team lacking athleticism and two-way players. His team-friendly contract, upside, and ability to fill holes make him worth the option.”
As the competition in the Eastern Conference has proved to be stiff throughout these playoffs, the roster construction for the Nets this season will be even more detrimental. As a team that is expected to be among the title contenders in 2023, they will need to have an assortment of players who are ready to produce now.