Change has seemed to be a recurring theme for the Brooklyn Nets since they were swept out of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics last season. They have seen changes in coaching as key developmental staff such as Kyle Korver, Amare Stoudemire, and Adam Harrington are no longer with the organization. They have also seen changes within the roster as players such as Andre Drummond signed with other teams in free agency. Other players such as LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin are still free agents, but it doesn’t seem they will be rejoining the franchise next season.
But perhaps the biggest departure for the Nets was their forward Bruce Brown, who had a breakout second half of the season in 2022. At the opening of NBA free agency, Brown signed a 2-year $13 million deal to join the Denver Nuggets.
The decision came as a surprise to many as he was one of the team’s best players in the second half of last season. Upon inking his new deal with the Nuggets, there had been speculation that the coveted wing turned down more money elsewhere to go to Denver. When asked about those rumors, Brown vowed that he would leave it up to speculation.
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Brown Believes Nuggets Can Win NBA Title
After the Nets completed a blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to the Sixers, Brown’s level of play expanded exponentially. Per Stat Muse, he averaged 13.9 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 27 games for the Nets during that span.
Brown’s play elevated even more once the Nets made it to the postseason. Per Stat Muse, he averaged 14.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.8 assists in the first round of the playoffs against the Celtics.
He joins a talented group of players in veteran Jeff Green, as well as Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr, who will be returning from injury next season.
Despite having a ton of talent on their roster, not many people are picking the Nuggets to win the title as they only have the 10th best odds. But Brown believes that Denver has all of the necessary tools to win a championship.
“We’re here to win a championship. I think that’s what we’re gonna do,” Brown said to Harrison Wind of “DNVR Sports”.
Replacing Brown Difficult but Not Impossible
Brown will not be an easy player to replace by any account. Not only because of his abilities on offense but also because on defense he would often take on the responsibility of guarding the opposing team’s biggest offensive threat.
But despite losing such a heap of players, general manager Sean Marks has done a decent job re-tooling the Nets roster to fit its needs. And the additions of TJ Warren and Royce O’Neale are a good start to filling the void that was left in the wake of Brown’s departure.
But the ultimate question that remains is if Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant will be on the roster to start this season. Because if the answer is no, it will be extremely hard for the Nets to compete in a loaded Eastern Conference.