Over the course of the summer, the Nets have made major moves to improve their roster. Here are two players who will see the most success as a result.
The Brooklyn Nets have improved greatly over the course of the offseason. Despite the fact that they were not able to reach the NBA Finals last season, they were able to reach great heights and success despite the struggles they faced with injuries, making this offseason’s leap forward all the more impressive.
Following the conclusion of the season, the team made major pickups to extend their depth and rejuvenate positions they’d previously suffered at. The Nets added Paul Millsap and Patty Mills while trading DeAndre Jordan to improve the exact depth previously mentioned.
One might wonder why an aging Mills was targeting; after all, he averaged 10 points and only 2.4 assists a game while with the San Antonio Spurs. However, it’s not what he was doing with the Spurs that caught the eyes of the Nets, but rather what he did in Tokyo.
Patty Mills’ run in the 2020 Olympics made him a major target for the Nets
Mills’ recent Olympics showcase has served as his greatest asset to show that he was worthy to not only keep playing, but to play for a quality squad in Brooklyn. Mills averaged 22 points a game over the duration of the Olympics and put up 42 over Slovenia, the same Slovenian team with Luka Doncic as their star player. Even against Team USA, Mills shot 60 percent from the field, along with tallying up three steals and eight assists.
Now, with a Brooklyn team that is looking to capitalize on fine tuning, Mills will be able to contribute with scrappy guard play and the ability to drill open treys. The little things will be a major asset in the long run.
But Mills isn’t the only player who benefits from joining a reloaded Brooklyn team.
Nic Claxton will take the next step with the 2021-22 Nets.
Nicolas Claxton has been with the Nets for now two seasons, going on three, and he’s been able to be a major help off of the bench as his skills have calcified. Over the course of those two seasons, his minutes went up from 12.5 minutes a game to 18.6 minutes. While his points were sparse, he was still able to make some contributions on defense.
Where the concern may really lie is how the Nets plan on utilizing Millsap in conjunction with their kid. Though the 36-year-old Millsap isn’t what he used to be, he improved Denver’s defense during his minutes on the floor and averaged more run than Claxton, whose development still needs to be prioritized. It’s not clear how the minutes will be divided, especially with the Nets looking to add LaMarcus Aldridge into the mix, but Claxton will have a good veteran foundation and coaching squad to grow his game personally.
The Nets rotation will be deep and full of strategy from Steve Nash to ensure everyone gets a chance to play. The moves, deductions and additions make for a perfect opportunity for each player to flourish throughout the 21-22 season.