The Brooklyn Nets had several players from their 2022 roster hit the free-agent market at the opening of the period on June 30. And with three max-contract players in Ben Simmons, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant, still on the roster, the front office knew that it would be impossible to keep all of their key players from last season.
One of those players, was their forward Bruce Brown, who became a key rotation player for the Nets in the second half of the season. And with his ability to defend and rebound, he was expected to have a wide array of suitors during this year’s free agency period. However, with Brooklyn having his Bird rights, Nets fans were hoping that the franchise would find a to retain him in free agency. But on July 1, ESPN analyst Malika Andrews announced that he would be joining reigning two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic next season as the Nets free agent forward inked a deal with the Denver Nuggets.
“Bruce Brown has agreed to a 2-year, $13M+ deal with the Denver Nuggets, sources tell ESPN,” Andrews said via her Twitter account on July 1. “Brown and the Nuggets think Brown could be a key, final piece on a team that has NBA Championship aspirations this season.”
Andrews also noted that Brown’s deal has a player option in year 2.
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Bruce Brown Had Breakout Season after Harden Trade
After the Nets completed a blockbuster trade that sent James Harden and Paul Millsap to the Sixers in exchange for Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, and Seth Curry, 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.
Now joining the defending NBA MVP in Denver, along with a returning Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr, the Nuggets could make some noise in the West.
Nets Face Grim Decision in Coming Days
The current state of the Nets is … unknown, to put it nicely. They have already lost two players from last year’s roster in Brown, and Andre Drummond, who signed a deal to join the Chicago Bulls at the opening of free agency. But the elephant in the room continues to be the futures of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, as it appears the Nets are about to have a fire sale for their two superstars.
But even if the Nets were to get multiple All-Star caliber players in exchange for KD and Kyrie, it is not likely that they will get a return on their investment. Their star duo consists of two generational talents, who frankly, are irreplaceable on the basketball court.
What Nets owner Joe Tsai and general manager Sean Marks fail to realize is that championship windows don’t come around very often. And if this situation even has the slightest chance of being repaired, they should do everything in their power to fix it.