The Brooklyn Nets roster will look different next season as they have already suffered several key departures. All-Star center Andre Drummond decided to part ways with the franchise to join the Chicago Bulls, and free-agent All-Star forward Blake Griffin is not expected to return.
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, per ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
Although he will no longer be in a Nets uniform in 2023, Brown’s aspirations have not changed now that he is with the Nuggets. He still has the goal in mind of winning a championship, and the ex-Nets forward believes he has a great chance to do that in Denver.
“We’re here to win a championship. I think that’s what we’re gonna do,” Brown said to Harrison Wind of “DNVR Sports”.
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Brown ‘Can’t Wait’ to Play With Nikola Jokic
After the Nets completed a blockbuster trade that sent James Harden and Paul Millsap 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 Boston 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. But the most enticing player has to be reigning back-to-back NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic. Brown says he is excited to be joining forces with the All-Star center.
“I literally can’t wait. He’s one of the guys I hate to play against,” Brown said to Harrison Wind of “DNVR Sports”.
Cam Thomas Sounds off on Durant, Kyrie Drama
For the second consecutive year, Nets guard Cam Thomas is turning heads with his performance in the NBA Summer League. The standout guard netted 31 points in his 2022 debut. Thomas had up-and-down moments with the Nets last season but had the luxury of leaning on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant as his mentors to make the rookie road a little less bumpy. He says no matter what happens with the Nets stars, the relationship that they have built won’t change.
“Yeah, just him and Kyrie really, I connected with those two a lot. So those two are my brothers no matter what happens. I still call them or text them on something,” Thomas said via Brian Lewis of the “New York Post”.
“So you know, it is what it is. It’s part of the business. Hopefully, everything works out in our favor. But you’ve just got to move on with life. It is what it is.”
Brown was one of the Nets’ key players during the regular season and playoffs in 2022 and will be a hard player to replace. It will be interesting to see how the Nets move forward without him.