There’s no sugarcoating that the Brooklyn Nets got off to a brutal start in free agency.
For starters, fan favorite Jeff Green landed in Denver and Otto Porter, another rumored target, rejected a mid-level exception offer elsewhere to sign with Golden State for the minimum. They also traded Spencer Dinwiddie to the Wizards for a questionable return package.
To their credit, however, the Nets bounced back by landing veteran guard Patty Mills, who will provide leadership and value as a scorer and distributor off the bench. They also re-signed key rotational pieces in Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown, who signed a one-year qualifying offer.
With those moves, coupled with the returns of Joe Harris and Nicolas Claxton, the Nets should have enough depth to take the pressure off their superstar trio.
You know what’s one piece Brooklyn could really use, though? A veteran slasher capable of defending all five positions (Jeff Green’s replacement). On paper, Andre Iguodala fits that profile perfectly, but he, like Porter, chose to pursue a ring with the revamped Warriors.
The Nets were reportedly a finalist to land Iguodala, so this one hurts.
The Nets missing out on signing Andre Iguodala is significant.
The 37-year-old Iguodala is clearly nearing the end of his career. In 63 games with Miami last season, he posted 4.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. With the Heat evidently motivated to rebound after a disappointing year that saw them eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, they simply didn’t have room for Iguoadla and declined his team option.
In the right system, Iguoadala can still be a serviceable rotation piece on a championship contender. The former No. 9 overall pick will fit perfectly in Golden State, where he won three rings as a defensive specialist alongside Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Iguodala could’ve filled that exact role on the Nets, who have even more star power than the Warriors with Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving leading the way. While he can’t space the floor quit like Green, Iggy is as good as they come at cutting and setting screens.
Those intangibles are essential on any title-winning team. Why else do you think the Warriors were so aggressive in their pursuit of Iguodala? We’re obviously not giving Nets fans the green light to pretend the sky is falling, but losing out on Iggy stings, especially since Brooklyn was reportedly one of the three teams in the running for his signature.
As presently constructed, the Nets’ roster still has enough talent to win it all next season. However, we’d feel a lot better about their chances if they found a like-for-like replacement for Green, who was pivotal to their success in 2020-21.
With Iguodala off the board, that search just became a lot more difficult.