Over the next several weeks, we’re going to be “scouting the enemy,” as we’ll be covering the outlook for the 29 other teams in the league ahead of the 2019-2020 season.
The Brooklyn Nets had one of the biggest breakout seasons in the NBA we’ve seen in some years in 2018. The Nets were projected to win only 32 games last season, but won 42 games and sat in the sixth seed heading into the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Riding a wave of cohesiveness from all the guys on the roster, Brooklyn was a must watch every night.
D’Angelo Russell had a breakout season for the Nets following his departure from the Los Angeles Lakers. With Russell’s young talent, a comeback no one saw coming from Caris LaVert who had suffered a leg injury, and veteran leadership from Jared Dudley - Brooklyn was a force to be reckon with. Following a series loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, it had seemed that the Nets foundation had been layed. With the foundation lying strong, would Brooklyn finally get some star talent?
The Nets had arguably one of the best summers in the NBA. Having to choose between two stars isn’t always easy. Like all good things, sometimes we have to sacrifice something good to get something greater. Following his best season, former Nets guard D’Angelo Russell entered restricted free agency. This opened the door for the Nets to sign former NBA Champion guard Kyrie Irving to take Russell’s spot. Irving signed a four year $136 million contract with the Nets on the evening of free agency.
The same day, the Nets secured another NBA Champion in forward Kevin Durant. Durant signed a four year $164 million contract with the Nets on the evening of free agency. There is a good chance that Durant will not play in year one with the Nets, but will bring that superstar punch in year two.
Then, several days ago, the Nets extended their rising star Caris LaVert to a three year $52.5 million extension. The young star is now under contract for the four seasons that line up with Irving and Durant.
With Irving and LaVert leading Brooklyn in 2019 several other guys stand out on this very young and talented Nets roster. Three Point Champion Joe Harris is a guy that will be looking to take the next step next season. Several free agents signings that will also play huge roles will be big man DeAndre Jordan, and guard Garret Temple. Both will be guys that will be needed to step up on any given night for the Nets to be competitive nightly.
Brooklyn Nets 2019-20 Outlook:
From having little to no expectation coming into the 2018 season to having a ton of expectation following a fantastic offseason in 2019, several variables flying around the Nets heading into the upcoming season.
For one, the Nets aren’t a full army yet. With Durant sidelined, we will not see Brooklyn at full power. However, the Nets will still be a major threat in the Eastern Conference. Brooklyn is projected to win 43.5 games in 2019 according to Las Vegas. The Nets are already winning with their amazing offseason, and will be fighting for the next four years. Next season will just be another season of implementing their winning culture.