The Brooklyn Nets have done an excellent job filling out their roster this offseason.
While it was tough to say goodbye to Jeff Green and Spencer Dinwiddie, GM Sean Marks did well to add veteran Patty Mills and versatile defender DeAndre’ Bembry, as well as retain key depth pieces Blake Griffin and Bruce Brown.
The Nets also seemingly nailed the draft, as No. 27 overall pick Cam Thomas finished as Summer League’s leading scorer at 27.0 points over four games, and second-rounder Day’Ron Sharpe looks like he belongs.
As presently constructed, this roster is ready to compete for a championship. However, Marks hinted that more moves are coming at the trade deadline.
It’s scary to think what other high-end talents the Nets could bring in, but for now, let’s focus on projecting Brooklyn’s rotation now that Summer League is wrapped up.
Projected Brooklyn Nets rotation after Summer League
- PG: Kyrie Irving, Patty Mills, Cam Thomas
- SG: James Harden, Bruce Brown, Jevon Carter
- SF: Joe Harris, DeAndre’ Bembry
- PF: Kevin Durant, Alize Johnson, James Johnson
- C: Blake Griffin, Nicolas Claxton, Day’Ron Sharpe, DeAndre Jordan
There shouldn’t be any surprises in the starting lineup. Griffin obviously isn’t a center by trade, but he’ll be the Nets de facto center when they go small ball.
With Green leaving in free agency, Brooklyn needs a versatile forward who can defend the four and five when other teams go small.
James Johnson and his 6-foot-7, 240-pound frame should check those boxes. His 3-point shooting fell off a cliff last season, but that could improve with how many open looks he’ll get in the Nets’ offense.
Brown, meanwhile, will start some nights, but will frequently will be used as an energizer bunny and defensive nuisance off the bench. The same can be said for Jevon Carter and Bembry, who are tough as nails and skilled on-ball defenders.
We really don’t have to explain how valuable Mills will be coming off the bench. The 33-year-old guard’s ability to handle the ball will allow Irving and Harden to bank extra rest so that they’re fresh in crunch time.
It’ll be difficult for Thomas to crack the rotation given how deep the Nets are in the backcourt, but his showing in Summer League proved he deserves a role.
And finally, we get to the Nets’ frontcourt reserves. With Griffin on the proverbial back nine and susceptible to getting into early foul trouble, you better believe Nicolas Claxton, Alize Johnson, and Sharpe will have roles to play.
Unfortunately, that means DeAndre Jordan is on the outside looking in. The Nets would clearly love to cut bait with the veteran big man, but his bond with the Big 3 is apparently too strong for Marks to consider that.
That should just about do it. While we’d like to see how these new pieces gel with the superstar trio, needless to say this rotation is as deep as any in the NBA and should compete for a championship if every core piece stays healthy.