Nets: 3 moves Brooklyn has to make this offseason for title run

Kevin Durant. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Kevin Durant. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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Blake Griffin and Jeff Green.
Blake Griffin and Jeff Green. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

2. Re-sign Blake Griffin and Jeff Green

The Nets have to make decisions on nine free agents starting in August. The list: Bruce Brown, Jeff Green, Mike James, Chris Chiozza, Reggie Perry, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Tyler Johnson and Blake Griffin.

The two more pressing players who deserve to be on Brooklyn’s roster next season are Blake Griffin and Jeff Green.

For all the consternation that continues to follow Griffin wherever he goes, he did lead the league in charges drawn this season (22) and played the role of a scrappy handyman willing to dive for loose balls, set screens, and box out opponents. In Brooklyn’s final three playoff games, Griffin averaged 15.3 points on 58.1 percent shooting overall and 43.8 percent from 3-point range. He went from being an afterthought addition to the roster (you can just imagine the Nets’ front office looking at Blake and thinking, “Our fans would really get a kick out of this”) to an inflammatory starter in the playoffs (“ANOTHER dunk on the Greek Freak!”). As the only traditional big for the Nets, he fits like a square peg into a square hole into the superteam mold, in which his defense-mongering teammates keep feeding him easy points in the paint. His past record with Detroit should read more like a juvenile rap sheet: he’s a different man in Brooklyn, and re-signing Griffin is a no-brainer.

Jeff Green has the same contractual options as Griffin and is just as strong an addition to keep on the roster. He’s been earning the veteran minimum for four straight seasons now and it would be in Brooklyn’s best interest to take care of the forward.

Going into Game 7, Green and Griffin ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in playoff points and minutes per game. When the Nets lost Game 3 in Milwaukee, Green wasn’t able to help. He came back to score 27 in Game 5, and he’s the kind of tide-swinger who the Nets could use in the rotation, especially with his career-high 41.2 percent shooting from beyond the arc this season.

He reportedly told the Athletic, “Everybody knows how much I loved it here. I love the people here. The personnel on this team, coaches, trainers, everybody knows how much I love them and my time here.”

Let’s hope the past tense form of “loved” was just a Freudian slip.

If Green and Griffin are willing to put money aside at this point in the backend of their careers and chase a ring next season, then by all means, Brooklyn should hold onto them.