B/R: Brooklyn Nets’ starting five could look different for next season
The Brooklyn Nets ended the 2022-23 season getting swept by the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. After trading away Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving at the February deadline, it became clear that Brooklyn needs more if they want to be competitive in the East in the future.
According to Bleacher Report, the Nets may have a different starting lineup for next season for that reason. At this point, it seems that wing Mikal Bridges and center Nic Claxton are the only players that seem most likely to be in Brooklyn’s future since they are two of the team’s best players. However, Spencer Dinwiddie and Claxton are under contract for just one more season so the Nets will have to make decisions on them relatively soon.
In addition, forward Cam Johnson is a restricted free-agent this summer so Brooklyn has to decide if they are willing to pay what it takes to keep Johnson with the team. Dorian Finney-Smith has three more years under contract (the third season is a player option) so unless the Nets are looking to upgrade at that power forward spot, Finney-Smith should be a lock there as well. Here’s what Bleacher Report had to say about Brooklyn’s starting lineup for next season:
“Everything about the Nets’ starting-lineup approach hinges on their post-Kevin Durant strategies. Are they trying to remain competitive because Houston controls their first-rounders through 2027? Is Mikal Bridges actually alpha enough for Brooklyn to stand relatively pat? Or even good enough to push the front office toward star-trade hunting?
Whatever the Nets decide will feature shakeups to the post-KD opening five. Even if they remain idle, Bridges and Nicolas Claxton are the only true locks. Of course, they won’t remain idle. They can’t. Cam Johnson is a restricted free agent, and, at the least, Brooklyn needs to explore beefing up the point guard rotation.”
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