As the Brooklyn Nets gear up for what they hope will be a championship run next season, every little move is a big one at this time of the year. As much as Brooklyn will lean on its Big Three of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, the veteran role players – the Blake Griffins, the Patty Mills – are the team’s unsung heroes.
And they’ve just added another, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Four-time All-Star Paul Millsap has agreed to a deal with the Nets, his agent DeAngelo Simmons told Charania on Thursday, September 2. The kicker: Millsap chose Brooklyn over several other playoff contenders, including the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers, according to Charania.
Details on the terms of the agreement have yet to surface, though the Nets had only the vets minimum at their disposal.
Millsap Becomes a Valuable Role Player for Brooklyn
The 36-year-old Millsap is well past his prime at this point, but he’s the type of role player that the title-hopeful Nets could deploy late in important games and feel confident about.
The 6-foot-7 forward has averaged 13.7 points and 7.2 rebounds over 1,052 games in his NBA career, though he averaged only 9.0 and 4.7 in 20.8 minutes per game last season for the Denver Nuggets. Still, his prowess as a defender is intact; last season, he registered 1.1 blocks and 1.6 steals per 36 minutes.
In an article for Bleacher Report in late August, NBA writer Jake Fischer added this analysis: “Millsap could very well end up being this year’s Nic Batum, a skilled mercenary who rounds out a playoff unit’s starting lineup or top of their rotation in a reduced role.”
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Twitter Reacts to Millsap News
On social media, the reaction was swift and one-sided. The consensus by analysts: the rich get richer.
And as for the reaction among fans? Measured excitement – mostly.
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JJ Redick Taking His Time
Another big-name free agent, JJ Redick, appears to be taking his time with the decision of where he’ll land next.
The 37-year-old sharpshooter has frequently been linked to the Nets over the past year – he lives in Brooklyn with his family, after all – but seems to be in no rush to make a decision about where he spends his 2021-22 season.
“My focus right now is just hanging with my family and enjoying the offseason,” Redick said recently on his podcast, The Old Man and The Three. “And we’ll make a decision on next season—what team, what city, etc.—probably sometime in the next two or three months. But, you know, I would say, pretty much definitively, like, I won’t be in a training camp to start the season. That’s not gonna happen. So, you know, I’ll join a team at some point this season and finish the year and try to go get a chip.”
According to Fischer, it could be Brooklyn (or New York) or bust for Redick.
“Redick’s apparent desire to land with the Knicks and the Nets has long circulated in the NBA,” Fischer wrote. “Several executives have even speculated the veteran could retire if he does not come to terms with either franchise. Yet there likely will be other suitors interested in adding Redick’s bench shooting come January as well. “I would bring him on,” one Western Conference head coach told B/R. “He can go anywhere and provide value.”