Nets All-Star Expected To Depart From Team in Free Agency: Report

Getty Images Blake Griffin of the Brooklyn Nets congratulates Kyrie Irving.

With seven players from their 2021-22 roster expected to hit the free-agent market this summer, The Brooklyn Nets will have some tough decisions to make during this offseason. One of those players is six-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin. Griffin resigned with the Nets last summer after he was acquired mid-season by the Nets in 2021 after the Detroit Pistons bought him out. But towards the end of the season, Griffin got buried on Nets head coach Steve Nash’s bench, rarely seeing any playing time.

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Blake Griffin Not Expected to Return to Nets

Griffin only played 25 minutes for the Nets in the first round of the playoffs, a tell-tale sign that he will not be part of the Nets’ plans moving forward. Alex Schiffer of “The Athletic” says that he does not expect to see the All-Star forward in a Nets uniform next season.

“Griffin had a tough start to the season shooting. He shot 24 percent from 3 before the All-Star break. He ended on a better note, albeit in a limited capacity, shooting 43 percent from 3 in eight games afterward. The constant was his ability to draw charges, which tied for the league lead for the second straight season. Griffin also mentored both Sharpe and Edwards as rookies,” Schiffer writes for “The Athletic”.

“In the playoffs against Boston, Griffin provided energy for the Nets and gave them everything he had in limited spurts. He can’t move the way he used to, but still has some attributes to help a team. The Nets need more youth and two-way players down low. Griffin made a seamless transition from franchise player to supporting cast when he went from Detroit to Brooklyn. Is he comfortable with being an end-of-the-bench player? That could keep him with the Nets. Otherwise, he might find more minutes elsewhere. Similar to Aldridge, the Nets will likely wait on Claxton before figuring out the rest of the frontcourt. But did Griffin’s outing against Boston boost his stock for a return?”

Schiffer Expects Kyrie Back With Nets Next Season

The most pressing matter for the Nets this season is the expiring contract of Kyrie Irving. Irving is still under contract with Brooklyn until Summer 2023, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. But on July 1st, the Nets will have the option to offer him a max extension for either four or five years. However, his lack of availability still have the Nets undecided on if they will offer the New Jersey native a long-term extension.

If the Nets don’t ink Irving to an extension this season, they can lose him for nothing in 2023, which opens the possibility of the Nets trading him before next year’s free agency period. But Schiffer says that despite the turmoil surrounding the Nets star, he expects Irving back with the Nets.

“Irving has a $36.5 million player option that he can opt into, or he can decline it and be extended at a maximum of five years and roughly $250 million with the salary cap increasing. Our own John Hollinger recently said it makes sense for both sides to reach an agreement because of the Nets’ cap limitations and the lack of teams able to offer Irving the max,” Schiffer writes for “The Athletic”.

“Regardless, Irving has said he wants to re-sign with the Nets, but his attendance, or lack thereof, leaves cause for concern. It’s hard to see Irving playing elsewhere next season given the season he had after refusing to get vaccinated and was sidelined the first half of it. But the Nets’ title chances take a huge dip without him. Irving will likely be a Net next season, but the terms in which he is will be fascinating.”

Regardless of what happens this offseason, 2023 will be considered a championship or bust season for the Nets. They will need to put the best product possible on the floor to increase their title chances.

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