NBA 2022/23 Season Guide: Brooklyn Nets

NBA 2022/23 Season Guide: Brooklyn Nets



As the opening of the new campaign draws closer and closer, USA Basketball continues its traditional presentation, franchise by franchise, of the upcoming NBA season. Like every year, this one takes the form of a countdown, from the worst record in the league to our favorite for the title of champion.

Today, we are heading to Brooklyn, a franchise that is celebrating its 10th birthday at Barclays Center in a most electric atmosphere. The joy of signing Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in 2019 gave way to gloom with superstars who have their minds elsewhere and a disputed coach!

Even if the Russian owner is no longer there, replaced by Joe Tsai, the Nets plan to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their move to New York with dignity. With tens of millions of dollars and resounding transfers, the franchise has once again become a stronghold of the NBA, capable of attracting Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving the same summer, but also James Harden. A formidable trio, on paper, which has already exploded in flight.

James Harden asked to leave, joining the Sixers during the season, and it was Ben Simmons who arrived, unable to take part at the end of the campaign. During that time, Kyrie Irving missed 52 games due to his vaccination status, and Kevin Durant also made stints in the infirmary. How could Steve Nash have worked in good conditions? Result: a “sweep” in the first round against the Celtics.

But the worst was yet to come… First with Kyrie Irving who plays with the nerves of his leaders, before activating his “player option”, then especially Kevin Durant who asks for his transfer. Remember that he is starting a contract of 194 million dollars over four years and inevitably, in such a situation, it is difficult to find him a base. To force things, this same Kevin Durant then asks for the head of his coach and his GM.

An ultimatum that does not raise eyebrows for his boss, and finally, everyone patched up on the side of Los Angeles, and the Nets set out again to conquer the title with a good hangover.

A shooting window that “ shrinks again and again and again”

But… while Kevin Durant was asking for his head, Sean Marks did a pretty good job. The workforce comes out stronger from its off-season, and that’s already good news. First, there is the return of Ben Simmons and we can consider him a rookie. Ditto for Kyrie Irving since he had only played 29 matches last year. Without forgetting, of course, Joe Harris, so precious to spread the game. Then there are some interesting takes to strengthen the defensive sector with Royce O’Neale, perfect to replace Bruce Brown, and Markieff Morris, NBA champion with the Lakers in 2020 Then there’s a bet with TJ Warren. The “bubble” scorer is not yet on his feet, no pun intended, but he can be this offensive joker who was lacking last season off the bench.

In the end, it’s Sean Marks who announces it, it’s this year or never for the Nets: “I would probably be crazy to think it’s not, but I try not to focus on the fact that it’s now or never for the title. He we have to do it, because we can be carried away by rash decisions, but we know where our window is, and it is shrinking again and again and again. So for us, now is the time. »


Arrivals : Royce O’Neale (Jazz), TJ Warren (Pacers), Edmond Sumner (Pacers), Markieff Morris (Heat)

Departures Kessler Edwards, Andre Drummond (Bulls), Bruce Brown (Nuggets), Goran Dragic (Bulls)


Kyrie Irving will obviously be one to watch as he is out of contract and remains unpredictable on and off the court, but the Nets’ future depends a lot on Ben Simmonsand his ability to regain his best level after the hiccup of the 2021 playoffs and especially this season without playing.

A confirmed All-Star, he’s also one of the best defenders in the NBA when he doesn’t have back pain. It is on paper a “rookie” of choice for Brooklyn, especially since he will only be asked to speed up the game, to create and to defend. At the Nets, no one will blame him for denying shots… The Nets have everything it takes for Ben Simmons to thrive, and what will be really new for him is that he won’t have a dominant interior to support it. We are in any case impatient to see how Steve Nash will use it.

At post 1, with a Kyrie Irving as second back, or at post 4 as a “point forward”? Most importantly, perhaps, is that Ben Simmons is creating for the good of the team, and that he is the tip of the diamond in defense. Some already imagine him as Draymond Green of the Nets. Steve Nash would ask for nothing less.

Average age: 27.6 years old

Payroll: $192.4 million (3rd)


In the end, it wouldn’t take much for the Nets to join the title race. Even if the interior sector is not folichon with a Nic Claxton who will have to be particularly efficient, Brooklyn has a formidable strike force with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant who can concentrate on scoring.

The return of Joe Harris, like the arrivals of Royce O’Neale and Markieff Morris, brings a lot. The first by his ability to dismiss the game, the last two by their hardness off the bench. With a very high level five and motivated stars, Brooklyn is taking advantage of the Celtics’ misfortunes to climb into the Top 3 of the Eastern Conference alongside the Sixers and the Bucks. Most remarkable is that the Nets finally manage to defend and we find the Kevin Durant of the Warriors, active and even intimidating near the circle. At his side, Ben Simmons fills the gaps and after leading the team to 55 victories, Steve Nash has well deserved his Coach Of The Year trophy.


Fine speeches will not have deluded us for long… At the end of November, the team did not manage to string together victories, with a catastrophic defense, and the Irving-Durant duo seemed disconnected from the rest of the group.

The Barclays Center is rumbling but the room for maneuver is delicate. The two superstars are untransferable, and despite himself, Sean Marks must separate from Steve Nash. There is no shortage of good coaches without a contract, but the electroshock does not take place. The team is too tender under the panels, and at the “trade deadline”, the leaders somehow manage to transfer Kyrie Irving, who had ended up alienating the whole club.

This allows at least to recover a consideration before the leader becomes a “free agent”, and especially to think about next season. For its ten years in Brooklyn, the franchise finds itself without playoffs, eliminated from the “play-in”. A place that does not even allow him to dream of Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson.

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