HoF Big Man Kevin Garnett Weighs In on Nets’ Missing Piece

Brooklyn Nets

Getty Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett looks on during a game.

The Brooklyn Nets version of Kevin Garnett was forgettable. But a season-plus in which he averaged just 6.6 points and 6.7 rebounds does not diminish the Hall of Fame career the outspoken Garnett put forth over 21 years.

Garnett’s NBA journey began with the Minnesota Timberwolves and peaked with a title run in 2007 as a member of the Boston Celtics. So, when the 15-time All-Star, 12-time All-Defensive, and nine-time All-NBA selection speaks, people listen. Garnett has turned that into a television career as an analyst.

One thing that has happened far too often for the Nets amid this recent surge has been getting outrebounded – six times in 14 tries, to be exact.

Garnett had a suggestion that figures to solve that issue.

Garnett: Nets ‘Need An Anchor’

“They still need an anchor, but the Nets flipped a chaotic summer into a great blend of veteran depth and elite talent,” Garnett tweeted after the Nets’ 125-117 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 26.

This is a reference to the Nets being light in the frontcourt despite boasting some impressive length.

Starter Nic Claxton is in the midst of a breakout campaign averaging 2.3 blocks per game and leading the league shooting 73.8% overall from the floor. Day’Ron Sharpe is the heaviest player on the roster at 265. But the second-year man is far from a rotation player at this point let alone someone the Nets want to entrust with heavy minutes come playoff time.

The Nets have had Ben Simmons moonlight as a center during their resurgence.

He is best utilized on the perimeter, though, where he can engulf opposing guards with his size and length. Simmons has also dealt with enough injuries that there are wiser ways to deploy him than sending him down into the low post.

Brooklyn ranks 29th in total rebounds and 30th in offensive boards which, naturally, contributes heavily to their 28th-place standing in second-chance points.

So, despite how far they’ve come, the Nets still have a long way to go to reach their ceiling.

Full Circle For Garnett, Nets

Nets fans surely remember the cost of acquiring Garnett along with fellow Hall-of-Famer Paul Pierce, guard Jason Terry, forward D.J. White, and a first-round pick that would become Kyle Kuzma.

Brooklyn sent back a package that included Gerald Wallace and featured four years’ worth of first-round picks nearly crippling the franchise when things with Garnett fell apart.

There had to be flashbacks as this Nets superteam almost split up this summer.

The draft capital sent to acquire James Harden in exchange for an injured Simmons last season preceded Kevin Durant’s trade request and Kyrie Irving’s standoff with the front office over his contract loomed as a bad omen that only got worse with the latter’s self-induced media firestorm.

It has to be a relief to see the group coming together, especially in such an impressive fashion. If they want to sustain it, though, they might want to heed Garnett’s warning.

Diversifying The Frontcourt

This is not the first time the Nets have been linked to a frontcourt addition. They have been mentioned in connection to Mo Bamba and Christian Wood in recent days among others since the season began.

Claxton, Sharpe, and Simmons all lack a perimeter game offensively, so that could be the kind of big man the Nets target – someone like Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers.

Whatever they do, it seems as though they need to make an addition to capitalize on this run.

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